Some New York legislators are concerned with how the state has dealt with problem gambling in recent times. New York Sen. Joseph Addabbo is one of the lawmakers, and he is taking some steps toward addressing the problem. Two bills were introduced and if passed would launch a Problem Gambling Advisory Council, which would provide more resources to tackle the issue.
Compulsive gambling has always been an issue in the industry, and with the increase in accessibility, it poses an even greater threat than before. For instance, the Empire State launched its own mobile sports betting market, which allows bettors to play from basically any mobile device in the state. This has concerned many addictions and gambling specialists, and now the state is taking further measures.
Just a Few Steps Away Now
Bill S409 and A658 have been passed in both chambers of New York’s legislature. If finalized they would establish a new council and specify new rules for it. It is will consist of 13 members and it could assemble twice a year to discuss topics and issues. According to Mr. Addabbo’s office, the council will develop and recommend strategies to ensure the availability of problem gambling programs and resources.
Some of its members will be the Commissioner of the Office of Addiction Services and Support, the char of the New York State Gaming Commission, four appointees of the President of the New York Senate, four appointees of the New York Assembly Speaker, a member assigned by the Senate Minority Leader, and an appointee selected by the state’s governor Kathy Hochul.
In addition to that, the bill would require the Senate President and Assembly Speaker to each make their choices representative of community-based behavioural health service providers. According to Senator Addabbo, they will analyze the impact of mobile sports betting on problem gambling services. For instance, if there is an increase in calls to the HOPEline or outreach to gambling resource centers.
The Senator’s office also added that the council will also compile an annual report which will be due by October 1 to the governor and legislature. It is slate to include findings and recommendations concerning problem gambling. However, it remains to be seen whether Governor Hochul would enact the legislation as law. And if she does, it will go into effect 180 days later.
Impact of Online Sports Betting
However, according to Jeffrey Wierzbicki, team leader of the Western Problem Gambling Resource Center in Buffalo, the effects of mobile sports betting can be seen already. He elaborated that after the launch of the new market, more and more people have sought help from the resource center and that many of them were from a younger demographic. He also claimed that currently there are not enough resources to deal with the increase in compulsive gambling.
Mr. Wierzbicki commented that with the introduction of mobile sports betting accessibility has also risen, as approximately 87% of the local population has access to a smartphone with internet. In his expertise, this gaming experience is different than the one in brick-and-mortar gaming properties, as it is quite easier for bettors to lose track of how much money they have spent.
Source: Helling, Derek “Legislation Could Address Gaps In New York’s Handling Of Problem Gambling”, PlayUSA, June 29, 2022