Authorizes and directs the commissioner of mental health to commission a statewide evaluation regarding the extent of legal and illegal gambling by New York state residents.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to commissioning a statewide evaluation regarding the extent of legal and illegal gambling by New York residents
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to mitigate the social costs related to problem gambling by conducting a social impact study on problem gambling.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends 19.09 of mental hygiene law by requiring the commissioner of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services in consultation with the New York State Gaming Commission to conduct a statewide evaluation regarding the extent of legal and illegal gambling by New York State residents.
JUSTIFICATION: A survey conducted by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) found that five percent of adults, or 668,000 individuals, exhibited problem gambling behaviors within the past year. Another survey of seventh through twelfth grade students revealed that ten percent, or 140,000 students, showed signs of problem gambling in the past 12 months and another ten percent of those students were in need of treatment for problem gambling. Of those students in the survey who were identified as in need of chemical dependency treatment, forty five percent were at risk or in need of treatment for problem gambling.
Research has found that proximity to casinos increases the rate of problem gambling among the local population. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission showed that casinos within a 50 mile radius of an individual's home can double the prevalence of problem gambling. The Buffalo Research Institute on Addiction, in its own study, claimed that having a casino within 10 miles of a home has a significant effect on problem gambling. Currently, New York State has five casinos operated by Native Americans and nine independently operated racinos; combined they operate approximately 29,000 electronic gambling machines, which is more than any state in the Northeast or Midwest. New York continues to expand its existing gaming market and if non-tribal casino gaming is legalized, permitting up to seven new casinos to be established, the risk of more individuals developing a gambling problem could increase significantly.
While it is important that New York State continue to conduct surveys that determine the prevalence of problem gambling and illustrate the need for prevention and treatment services, additional research that measures the social impact of problem gambling is sorely needed. Directing such research would allow the State to pinpoint which social costs associated with problem gambling are most predominant among New York's identified problem gamblers and have also been detected in communities impacted by the presence of a casino. By having this information, New York State and its public officials will be able-to develop a comprehensive plan comprised of precise policies and regulations that aim to mitigate the social costs related to problem gambling. Another benefit from obtaining this data is that it will enable the problem gambling service providers and the casino industry to implement strategies and interventions that target the specific problem gambling needs of each local community and its citizens.
This bill would help to reduce the social costs associated with problem gambling by requiring OASAS to conduct a problem gambling social impact study.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6932 IN SENATE April 2, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to commissioning a statewide evaluation regarding the extent of legal and illegal gambl- ing by New York residents THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 19.09 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new subdivision (i) to read as follows: (I) THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE NEW YORK STATE GAMING COMMISSION, IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO COMMISSION A STATEWIDE EVALU- ATION REGARDING THE EXTENT OF LEGAL AND ILLEGAL GAMBLING BY NEW YORK STATE RESIDENTS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE LOTTERY, HORSE RACING, NATIVE AMERICAN CASINOS, INTERNET GAMBLING, SPORTS BETTING, AND POKER. SUCH EVALUATION SHALL BE DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLA- TURE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN. THE EVALU- ATION SHALL BE PREPARED BY AN INDEPENDENT ENTITY AND SELECTED THROUGH A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL PROCESS. (1) SUCH EVALUATION SHALL INCLUDE: (A) THE PERCENTAGE OF NEW YORK RESIDENTS PARTICIPATING IN EACH GAMBL- ING ACTIVITY BY: (I) AGE; (II) RACE; (III) INCOME; (IV) EDUCATION; (V) SEX; AND (VI) ANY OTHER DEMOGRAPHIC THAT WOULD BE RELEVANT TO THE EVALUATION; AND (B) AN ESTIMATE OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY BEING WAGERED AND LOST BY NEW YORK RESIDENTS IN EACH GAMBLING ACTIVITY. (2) SUCH EVALUATION SHALL PROVIDE A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE RELATION- SHIPS BETWEEN PROBLEM GAMBLING AND BANKRUPTCY, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SUICIDE, CRIME, AND ANY OTHER SOCIAL PROBLEM THAT IS RELEVANT TO THE EVALUATION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11389-02-3