Two New York legislators this week introduced a bill to require all gambling and sports betting advertisements in the state to include warnings about the potential harmful and addictive effects of gambling.
Democrats Luis R. Sepúlveda and Leroy Comrie on Thursday introduced Senate Bill S1550, which also would instruct the state gaming commission to ensure all advertisements include New York’s problem gambling hotline number (1-877-8-HOPENY).
The bill has not yet been voted on. If it passes, it would take effect 16 days after it becomes law. Ohio passed similar rules requiring gambling advertisements to be “clearly and conspicuously” labeled with the helpline number and a problem gambling message when that state finalized its sports gambling regulations last year.
Increased focus on problem gambling
Problem gambling and operators’ marketing techniques have been hot topics among New York legislators as the gaming commission begins the process of sorting through proposals for three downstate casino licenses in coming weeks. In December, New York state Sen. Pete Harckham proposed legislation directing the gaming commission to come up with rules and regulations regarding what the bill called “predatory” mobile sportsbook bonuses.
Harckham’s legislation followed a series of unflattering articles in The New York Times detailing the marketing and lobbying practices of sports betting companies.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, chairman of the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, told Sports Handle after Harckham’s legislation was submitted that he likely would put together a roundtable with Harckham, Assembly Racing and Wagering Chairman J. Gary Pretlow, and perhaps members of the gaming commission and leaders in the addiction field to discuss potential rule changes sometime this month.
“I didn’t need the articles from The New York Times and I don’t necessarily need this bill right now to know that problem gambling is an important issue, one we addressed at the time with 12 safeguards and protocols and money set aside to treat the pitfalls of addiction,” Addabbo said. “The bottom line is to make sure the gaming commission does its part.”
Sports betting volume has been robust in the first year of legal mobile betting in New York, with $16.2 billion in handle in 2022. Due to the state’s 51% tax on gross gaming revenues for sports betting, the state has taken in $682.8 million in new taxes from the activity.