NY Bill Problem Gambling Warnings Hotline Ads

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Senate Bill S1550 Introduced to NY’s Senate Committee for Wagering on Jan. 12

There has been pushback against the ever-growing and evolving U.S. legal sports betting market since it was born in May 2018, and much of it has come from those parties concerned with an increase in problem gambling, their fear of increased addiction a deal breaker.

In New York, that drawback could be minimized thanks to a new bill that has just been introduced to the state legislature, one that is meant to ensure a level of safety in how those sportsbooks advertise to customers, that’s according to reporter Conor Porter of SBCAmericas.

The bill is officially called Senate Bill S1550, and it is reportedly sponsored by State Sen. Leroy Comrie and co-sponsored by State Sen. Luis R Sepúlveda, a new piece of legislation that was presented to New York’s Senate Committee for Racing, Gaming, and Wagering on Jan. 12.

The idea is to force sports betting advertisers to make potential customers aware of the hazards of gambling as well as to give them clear access to help, and according to SBCA, SB-S1550’s summary states:

“Requires all advertisements for gambling and sports betting to include warnings about potential harmful and addictive effects of gambling; requires the state gaming commission to cooperate with the commissioner of addiction services and supports to ensure that all advertisements for gaming activity state a problem gambling hotline number.”

Of course, those changes won’t prevent addiction, but they will at least address the issue and give those at risk more options for help.

Bill Currently “In Committee,” and If Passed Will Take 16 Days to Implement

New York’s 2023-2024 Biennium legislative session convened for the first time this year on January 4 and will not adjourn until the end of December, which gives that body plenty of time to consider whether they want to give the thumbs up to this problem gambling bill.

Currently, SB-S1550 is in the ‘in committee’ phase and has yet to be voted on, according to SBCA, but if it should pass it would come into effect 16 days later, a quick turnaround that will have sportsbooks reeling as they attempt to shift their advertisements so they comply.

Porter also reports on another example of this issue being addressed by New York lawmakers, that being Sen. Pete Harckham’s bill in December to “give the New York State Gaming Commission the power to limit how much promotional credit sportsbooks could offer bettors.”

Problem gambling is being addressed by other markets, as well.

We have covered the issue of problem gambling in the past, posting What Sports Betting Companies Should Be Doing to Protect their Customers and How to Gamble Responsibly, According to the Experts, and some states besides New York have also addressed the problem.

In Porter’s SBCA piece, he points out that two states – Ohio and Virginia – have both addressed problem gambling, with the Buckeye State already punishing ad rule breakers and Old Dominion creating a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee.

Legal sports betting in the U.S. has fast become a multi-billion dollar industry that will grow even larger and as that happens, more attention must be paid to curbing problem gambling so that as an issue it does not become a dealbreaker for an activity many Americans continue to enjoy.


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