NY Sports Betting Bill Could be Model in US, Lawmaker Says
With about a week until the New York State budget deadline, a key lawmaker behind the push for online sports betting says the Senate and the Assembly proposal could be used by other states.
“There are no drawbacks to our proposal,” Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering, told Spectrum News. “(We) have crafted a piece of legislation that I think will be a model for every state in the United States. A few states have tried the governor’s proposal, which is a single or two-skin operator plan, and they’ve been failures.”
Pretlow has worked with state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D), who is chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. Their proposals are much different from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan — to be run by the state like the lottery — based on the few details the governor has released.
Both have been diligent over the past couple of years in lobbying for mobile sports betting in the Empire State.
However, Pretlow is concerned about implementing three downstate casino licenses. Addabbo’s Senate bill included an expansion of downstate casinos, but not the Assembly’s.
“It was thought that there was an issue with the third license,” Pretlow told Spectrum News. “Basically, what the Senate bill did was grandfathered the two existing racinos downstate that have indicated they want to have a full casino license, which I totally support 100 percent. But there’s this fear that other entities that think they can bid for this, the third license, would have been left out, which would have led to legal issues that would have held up the whole thing anyway.”
Addabbo’s Problem Gambling Bill Advances
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month and as New York looks to add online sports betting, the state Senate has passed legislation — S4207— requiring the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to develop a problem gambling education program.
All individuals, before being removed from any self-exclusion list, must complete the education program, according to the bill
Addabbo sponsored the legislation. It passed with a unanimous floor vote of 63-0 on March 18 and now moves to the state Assembly Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee for consideration.
Gaming facilities nationwide use self-exclusion lists to encourage responsible gaming. In New York, gaming facilities are required to offer individuals the ability to voluntarily place themselves on a self-exclusion list, which will prevent them from entering, placing a wager or collecting winnings from a gambling facility. In addition, if an individual is seen on the premises of a facility, they may be escorted off the casino’s property.
“Problem Gambling Awareness Month serves as a reminder that gambling addiction is real and requires effective resources to educate, support, and treat individuals,” Addabbo said in a news release. “As the prospect of legalizing mobile sports betting appears closer than ever, we remain focused on raising public awareness about problem gambling and its negative effects. This legislation will help raise awareness while enhancing self-exclusion services for individuals seeking to confront their issues with problem gambling.”
For those seeking help with problem gambling, the New York State Gaming Commission offers responsible gaming resources on the web, or people can call 1-877-8HOPE-NY.
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