New York State legislature approves bill to establish problem gambling council

By Gambling Insider

New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature is all that remains to bring into law a bill establishing the Problem Gambling Advisory Council (PGAC).

The bill, co-sponsored by State Senator and Chair of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, Joseph Addabbo Jr, has been approved by the state’s legislature.

It seeks to combat gambling addiction and minimise harm. To this end, the bill will create the PGAC; a body responsible for identifying issues that affect those who suffer from problem gambling and recommend prevention strategies, as well as treatment.

Against the backdrop of a mobile sports betting launch earlier this year, and with additional downstate casinos on the horizon, Addabbo said it was important to “prioritise problem gambling.”

“As co-sponsor of this bill and Chair to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, I am pleased that we are fulfilling a promise to provide additional resources and raise public awareness for problem gambling in our state,” said Addabbo.

“The legalisation of mobile sports betting brought higher than forecasted educational funds and revenue to our state, and the recent approval of downstate casino licences will create jobs and additional resources, but this legislation demonstrates that we have not forgotten that we must prioritise problem gambling and address it in a timely, proactive manner.”

The PGAC will report its findings to the governor and legislature. The council will consist of 13 members, including the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the Chair of the Gaming Commission.

Its 11 other members will include four appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate, four appointed by the Assembly Speaker, one by the Senate Minority Leader, one by the Assembly Minority Leader and one by the governor. If signed by Hochul, the bill will take effect after 180 days.

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