State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., Chair of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering; Assemblymember Gary Pretlow, Chair of the Assembly Committee of Racing and Wagering:
While the positives of legalizing mobile sports betting in New York are numerous — bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars to bridge the State’s $6 billion budget shortfall, providing additional funds for education, curtailing illegal sports betting activity, and more — there are some negatives associated with it, such as the issue of problem gambling.
Of course, when you make it easier for people to access a pastime such as sports betting and gambling in general, there will be those who abuse that access. However, our legislative proposals which aims to legalize mobile sports betting in New York, has specific measures written into the bill (S17D/A6113C) that directly address the prevention of problem gambling and its addiction.
The legislative language includes:
- Providing a new funding source from a percentage of the mobile sports betting to administer problem gaming programs and provide educational materials to prevent addiction;
- Requiring the Gaming Commission to enforce rules mandating operators to implement responsible gaming programs, including programs to address potential problem gambling for individuals under the age of thirty, specifically including minors;
- Requiring that mobile sports betting operators conform to a series of safeguards similar to those required of interactive fantasy sports operators, including an annual report to be submitted to the Gaming Commission on such safeguards; and
- Requiring that the Gaming Commission and operators administer regulations with respect to compulsive play, such as the setting of betting limits on a player’s account.
Our state should ensure that when we bring mobile sports wagering to New York, it is to be accompanied by programs and resources relating to problem gaming to assist those who already have addiction issues, help identify the signs of problem gaming, and ways to prevent an addiction before it occurs for an individual. Our legislative proposal does all that.
This is the first release in an 8-part weekly series of points on why New York State should include mobile sports betting in the 2020-2021 Budget.