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New York Senate Committee Advances Bill Altering Requirements For Gambling Ads

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on March 14, 2024
Senators Work In NY Senate Chamber

The New York State Senate’s Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee approved a plan to increase state funding for problem gambling treatment.

The bill (S8439) will bring more money to problem gambling programs, alongside two other bills related to age and advertising gambling restrictions (S1550 and S1557).

All three bills made it to the Senate floor.

While acknowledging March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Committee Chair Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr welcomed Patricia Lincourt at New York’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). Lincourt is an associate commissioner of Addiction, Treatment, And Recovery Services (ATRS).

NY gaming committee advanced S1550 and S1557 to the Senate floor

The first proposed legislation facing the committee was NY’s S1550, sponsored by Sen. Leroy Comrie and co-sponsored by Liz Krueger and Luis R. Sepúlveda.

The bill:

  • Requires all gambling and sports betting ads to include warnings about potential harmful and addictive effects of gambling
  • Requires the state gaming commission to cooperate with the commissioner of addiction services
  • Ensures that all advertisements for gaming activity provide a problem gambling hotline number

The bill now advances to the floor after the committee voted favorably.

Another bill through to the Senate is S1557, sponsored by Addabbo and co-sponsored by Krueger. The bill prohibits individuals under the age of 21 from gambling.

Although the legislation received pushback from Sen. Pamela Helming and Sen. James Tedisco, it received enough votes to make it out of committee.

Helming was concerned the bill would also apply to bingo. Meanwhile, Tedisco questioned whether 18-year-olds should be free to make some big decisions and not others, like voting, getting married and going to war.

Bill S8439 could add $2.5M to NY’s problem gambling coffers

The final bill, S8439, also sponsored by Addabbo, is making its way through the Senate committee.

The bill would allocate 1% of New York’s online sports betting tax revenue to be used for problem gambling treatment. If it becomes law, the bill could add $2.5 million to New York’s problem gambling funds.

Lincourt said most of the extra money would support several areas, predominantly prevention and building capacity for peer-to-peer recovery.

As reported, Helming also spoke in favor of the potential budget boost ahead of the vote:

“This is also an opportunity because the revenues are so much greater than anyone anticipated to earmark some funding stream for mental health services for schools. It’s desperately needed.”

But, as Addabbo highlighted, the problem is that the current legislation limits annual problem gambling funding to $6 million, no matter how high the handle goes. Being among the most active markets in the US, New York’s sports bets just topped $1 billion for the seventh consecutive month.

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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