New York Senate Approves Addabbo’s Problem Gambling Education Bill

  • S 4207 would require self-excluded New York gamblers to complete an education program
  • The bill will now advance to the Assembly Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee for consideration
  • Amid Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Addabbo said S 4207 will aid safer gambling efforts
  • NY mobile betting could get approval this year, with a market included in state budget proposals
The New York capitol building
A New York bill requiring self-excluded gamblers to complete a problem gambling education program has received approval from the Senate. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

S 4207 makes progress

The state of New York could soon see a gambling expansion, with mobile sports betting legislation currently under consideration by the legislature. One main proponent of that expansion, Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr, is pushing a bill that aims to protect the market’s customers. 

self-excluded individuals must complete an education program

The senator introduced S 4207 with the aim of creating a problem gambling education program. New York residents are currently able to ban themselves from gambling through a voluntary self-exclusion scheme. Under S 4207, self-excluded individuals must complete an education program before returning to wagering.

In a Tuesday statement, the New York Senate announced it had passed the legislation. It will now go to the Assembly Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee for consideration. It will then just require Governor Andrew Cuomo’s assent before becoming law.

Responsible gambling commitment

While sponsoring S 1183 for the legalization of mobile sports wagering, Senator Addabbo has repeatedly expressed his commitment to responsible gambling. He promoted gambling awareness ahead of March Madness this year, citing a typical spike in “both gambling and gambling addiction helpline calls” during the NCAA tournament.

a reminder that gambling addiction is real”

Meanwhile, explaining his reasons for introducing S 4207, Addabbo noted the important time of year, with March serving as Problem Gambling Awareness Month across the nation. He said the campaign serves as “a reminder that gambling addiction is real and requires effective resources to educate, support, and treat individuals.”

Problem Gambling Awareness Month has prompted various initiatives in New York. Throughout March, the New York Gaming Commission, state agencies, retailers, and commercial casino operators have all launched campaigns to raise awareness of problem gambling.

The senator also pointed to the imminent launch of mobile wagering, describing the prospect of a New York market as “closer than ever.” In light of that progress, he said lawmakers remain focused on raising awareness surrounding gambling-related harm. He believes S 4207 will play a significant role in this by enhancing self-exclusion services.

NY mobile wagering inbound

It seems 2021 could be the year for mobile sports betting in New York. Faced with a state budget deficit, Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his support for mobile betting at the beginning of the year.

In January, Senator Addabbo and Assembylman Gary Pretlow proposed two bills for a competitive market with multiple providers. They both passed through their respective committees later that month. However, Cuomo has repeatedly affirmed his desire for a lottery-style market run by the state.

Arguing against a competitive model in January, Cuomo said: “This is not a moneymaker for private interests to collect just more tax revenue.” The governor believes a lottery-style betting market model could generate $500m in annual tax for the state.

Now, the Senate and Assembly have both included the legalization of competitive mobile betting in their budget proposals. Both budgets reflect the legislation introduced by Addabbo and Pretlow, opting for a multiple-provider approach with two skins for each licensee. Gov. Cuomo will decide which budget becomes law on April 1.