Relates to the powers of the commissioner of the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to powers of the commissioner of the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services
PURPOSE: To increase awareness of problem gambling in the gaming facilities.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This legislation will require gambling facilities to post signs in a prominent manner within reasonable proximity to every exit and entrance of a gambling facility.
JUSTIFICATION: The vast majority of states that allow gambling within their borders, including New York, require that signs providing information on compulsive gambling assistance be posted in all gaming facilities. This is widely accepted as an appropriate tool to promote responsible gaming and raise awareness about how assistance with problem gambling can be obtained. New York State also includes on their signs, a hotline number which assists in connecting people to services and supports which are available to them.
According to the New York State Council on Problem Gambling (NYSCPG), the manner in which these signs are posted appear to be haphazard and inconsistent. As a result, knowledge and use of this 24-hour helpline is inadequate. As a consequence, there are less New Yorkers receiving the help that they need and that is available to them. NYSCPG reported that in 2011, there were only 1,449 calls to the helpline despite approximately one million people in New York being identified with a gambling problem. Additionally, only 8% of individuals in treatment were referred by the NYS helpline.
This bill will help to raise awareness on how to access supports and services for problem gambling by increasing the visibility of signs posted in gaming facilities.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the same date and in the same manner as section 1 of part A of chapter 60 of the laws of 2012, takes effect.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7300 IN SENATE May 2, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- 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 powers of the commissioner of the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision (h) of section 19.09 of the mental hygiene law, as added by section 6 of part I of chapter 58 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: (h) The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations requiring the
[state]DIVISION OF HORSE racing and PARI-MUTUEL wagering [board]and the [state lottery]division OF LOTTERY to provide for the posting of signs in facilities [licensed]REGULATED by the [state]DIVISION OF HORSE racing and PARI-MUTUEL wagering [board to conduct pari-mutuel wagering]and facilities [licensed]REGULATED by the [state lottery]division OF LOTTERY advising where to get help in dealing with a compul- sion to gamble. In addition, the information contained on such signs shall be posted on the internet at appropriate internet sites. Such signs and information posted on the internet shall include, but not be limited to, notice of the availability of one or more organizations, approved by the commissioner, which offer assistance in the prevention and treatment of compulsive gambling. Such signs, not less than eight and one-half inches by eleven inches, shall be [conspicuously]posted IN A PROMINENT MANNER AND WITHIN REASONABLE DISTANCE OF EACH ENTRANCE AND EXIT by the facility which is conducting the gambling. Such signs shall be available at the [state]DIVISION OF HORSE racing and PARI-MUTUEL wagering [board], the [state lottery]division OF LOTTERY, and the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services and shall be distrib- uted by the appropriate licensing agency. S 2. This act shall take effect on the same date and in the same manner as section 1 of part A of chapter 60 of the laws of 2012, takes effect.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15571-01-2