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New York Comptroller: Gambling Revenue Can Plug Budget Holes

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New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said he sees legal gambling as a revenue booster to help the state deal with its pandemic-related multi-billion dollar budget deficit.

New York collected more gaming revenue than any other state with nearly $4 billion in 2019 from lottery games, casinos, sports betting and off-track betting. Nearly all of it funds education.

DiNapoli said revenue in 2020 is projected to be slashed by $700 million due to the closure of in-person betting during the pandemic.

However, he said any reliance from the state on gaming activity should be coupled with programs to address problem gambling.

State spending to market gaming far outweighs treatment for gambling addiction by a 15 to 1 margin.

And problem gambling disproportionately affects Black and low-income communities. DiNapoli would like to see a balance in program spending and gambling marketing.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.