New York continues to improve tactics to prevent underage gambling

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

October 14, 2022

As the gaming industry continues to expand in New York State, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. believes it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that underage residents do not have access to any form of gambling, especially as he explores the possibility of advancing iGaming and other forms of online gaming next year.

Earlier in October, the New York State Gaming Commission’s Division of Lottery announced the launch of new training for Lottery retailers to reinforce the importance of age verification and other best practices as part of New York State’s commitment to responsible gaming. “I commend the Gaming Commission for introducing this new training for our Lottery retailers, because they are often times the only defense against underage residents purchasing Lottery tickets,” Addabbo, Chair of the NYS Senate Racing Gaming and Wagering Committee, stated.

New York is working to ensure that only of-age players are able to access gaming in the state. In addition to reviewing acceptable forms of identification and how to recognize a fake ID, the training for Lottery retailers will also include how to engage customers who may not be used to presenting ID for the purchase of a Lottery scratch-off or draw game ticket. New York Lottery also requires its retailers to visibly post responsible gaming signage at their sites, while also promoting the NYS HOPEline. Earlier this year, New York became the first lottery in the world to design, print and distribute scratch-off tickets for its approximately 15,000 retailers, which features a QR or URL code providing customers with 24-hour access to problem gambling programs close to their location.

Addabbo highlighted the efforts in addressing the aspect of minors partaking in regulated gambling, especially when it came to drafting the mobile sports betting and iGaming legislative language and making it a top priority. “While we were working on the language for the mobile sports betting legislation, our team put in place safeguards to prevent underage gaming, such as when opening an account with a mobile sports betting platform, players are required to upload their ID to confirm their age and other technical protections against underage gambling,” the Senator explained.

Addabbo said that when he works on the iGaming legislation next year, which will allow gamers to bet on live and virtual table games like poker and blackjack directly from their phones or other mobile devices, he plans to provide similar preventative measures as included in the mobile sports betting legislation to prohibit minors from participating in iGaming.

“We already have the technology and training at our brick-and-mortar casinos across the state that helps employees to spot fake IDs and not allow underage people in to gamble.” Addabbo pointed out. The Senator said he looks forward to working with the Hochul administration, the Gaming Commission, including the Lottery Division, the New York State Office of Addiction Supports and Services (OASAS) and the New York Council on Problem Gambling on improving the mechanisms to prevent minors from gambling. “By not allowing underage people to participate in mobile gaming, we are protecting minors from spending their money or their parents’ money on gambling, from potentially developing problem gaming habits, while protecting the integrity of gaming in the state,” he concluded.