BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Saturday morning, sports fans will be able to open an app on their phone and place a bet.
“I think it's a phenomenal idea. I've been doing it at my school in Pittsburgh for a while. I think it's really going to benefit New York,” said Nicholas Sykas, as he and his friends made their way to the Buffalo Sabres game on Thursday.
“I thought it was a great idea, a good situation for all. A way to generate tax revenue for the state and also stay in touch with your friends,” said Mike O’Brien, heading to the game with Sykas.
Being able to sit on your couch, or at a bar, or anywhere in New York and place a bet could be a problem for people battling a gambling addiction.
“Their ability to place a bet quickly and very frequently, 24-hours a day, is very enticing. And usually, the faster that you can place a wager, the more likely it is for you to develop a problem,” said Angela DiRosa, the program director for the Western Problem Gambling Resource Center.
According to DiRosa, mobile betting makes it tough to recognize if there is a gambling problem.
“If you don't already have one, it won't necessarily send up the same red flags to loved ones that there might be some sort of issue,” explained DiRosa.
There are signs to look for if you or a loved one may have a problem.
-Paying attention to games they don’t normally watch.
-Paying more attention to sports than their normal hobbies.
-Someone who might not normally struggle with financials, starts to have problems managing their money.
“We've already seen more folks reaching out for help because of a sports gambling related issue even before it was legalized,” said DiRosa. She doesn’t expect an immediate uptick in gamblers reaching out to her resource center after mobile betting beings. She does believe, eventually, she and her staff will be busier.
Mobile sports betting in New York is nearly here.
“I can't wait for Saturday to come,” said Sykas.
That’s exciting news for a lot of sports fans, but a potential problem for others.
Western Problem Gambling Resource Center:
(716) 833-4274 (Confidential Help)