New York State Senator, Joseph P Addabbo Jr, has co-sponsored a bill that would create the Problem Gambling Advisory Council, a new gambling harm prevention body in the state.
In response to the Empire State’s legalization of mobile sports betting in January, the bill to establish the council was produced to highlight issues affecting those suffering from problem gambling and suggest ways to make prevention and treatment more accessible.
The council will have 13 members including the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the Chair of the New York State Gaming Commission, alongside a further 11 delegates. It will make findings and recommendations to Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature.
“As co-sponsor of this bill and Chair to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, I am pleased that we are fulfilling a promise to provide additional resources and raise public awareness for problem gambling in our state,” commented Addabbo on the bill.
“The legalization of mobile sports betting brought higher than forecasted educational funds and revenue to our state, and the recent approval of downstate casino licenses will create jobs and additional resources, but this legislation demonstrates that we have not forgotten that we must prioritize problem gambling and address it in a timely, proactive manner.”
A survey by OASAS found that 5% of adults exhibited problem gambling behaviors within the past year, while 10% of 7th through 12th grade students showed signs of problem gambling or required treatment for the same.
Meeting no less than two times per year, the council will develop and recommend strategies to ensure availability and access to problem gambling programs and resources, as well as examine the impact of mobile sports betting on problem gambling services.
The council will also develop an annual report due by October 1 to the governor and legislature containing its findings and recommendations concerning problem gambling.
If the bill to create the Problem Gambling Advisory Council is approved by the Governor, it will take effect 180 days after it is signed into law.