VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – Sports betting has expanded to casinos in upstate New York, including Tioga Downs in Nichols. At the same time, there’s now more help for folks with gambling addictions.
The non-profit Finger Lakes Problem Gambling Resource Center serves several counties in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier. There are similar programs around the state.
The program started last November and has seen an uptick in calls since. Before that, options were limited to a statewide hotline for people with emotional and mental distress, the Hopeline.
“So if someone wanted to receive gambling addiction treatment service information or to be referred they would call the Hopeline,” said Jenna Hotaling, who’s with the center. “And there wasn’t really much in relation to service providing in this area.”
Hotaling said the problem gambling resource center aims to refer gamblers to conveniently located clinicians.
The group doesn’t take a stand on gambling legislation, but does work with casinos like Tioga Downs.
“They know that we exist, we know that they exist so we just continue to keep them up to date on our efforts,” Hotaling said. “And if they, in turn, have someone coming through their doors that may potentially identify with that then they have those resources available and are able to provide them to that person at that point in time.”
In June, the New York Gaming Commission approved sports betting at a handful of upstate casinos.