There is probably not a better time to think about harmful gambling than now. March is officially Problem Gambling Awareness Month in the US, and we are just ahead of March Madness. In the spirit of this, the New York Senate passed the problem gambling education bill S4207.
We cannot stress enough: the problem is not with gambling. However, problem gambling is a serious issue that has to be addressed. And it is not enough for people to take care of themselves – since addiction is an illness and have to be treated as such. The legislators and other responsible bodies have to take their fair share of solving the problem. This is what the New York senate just did by passing the problem gambling bill. This will require people on wagering self-exclusion lists in NY to attend an educational program on problem wagering. It means that from the cooperation of the involved and the regulators, a fine solution can ascend.
Problem Gambling Education Program
The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services developed the problem gambling education program. A program that would be compulsory for those who are on a gaming self-exclusion list. The list is for those who think they should protect themselves from compulsive wagering behavior. This way, they can restrict their access to wagering platforms, like online sportsbook sites in the US. Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee – and one of those in favor of mobile sports betting legalization in NY – introduced Senate Bill S4207. This would make the program mandatory for those on the list. They proposed the bill because they believe that the education of people is key in tackling down gaming addiction. “Problem Gambling Awareness Month serves as a reminder that gambling addiction is real and requires effective resources to educate, support, and treat individuals.” – said Senator Joseph P. Addabbo.
The problem gambling bill in New York
Senator Addabbo referred the S4207 bill to the Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. Its main goal is to raise public awareness of problem gaming and also to provide solid information for those in need. And by this: deal with gambling harms, like an addiction. According to the Senator, right now when they are ahead of March Madness (The NCAA Division Men’s Basketball Tournament) it is essential to prompt the bill. “With March Madness upon us, we want to inform the public about problem gambling. Every year during March Madness there is a spike in both gambling and gambling addiction helpline calls. I continue my steadfast commitment to managing gaming responsibly in New York.” – said the Senator. It is a fair point, since, during March Madness, online sportsbooks in the US, such as Bovada tend to blow up from the wager’s activities.
Another bill on the rise
The very same Senator is also a sponsor of another bill – S1183 – that aims to legalize mobile sports betting in the state. This way, your favorite online gambling sites in the US, like Bovada could work as apps on your phone! This bill and another one – A1257 proposed by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow – would make expansive changes on wagering in the state of New York. “The expansion of gaming in NYS, including Resorts World casino in my district, demonstrates the importance of local jobs, educational funding, economic growth and also the need for educational programs that can help better inform our citizens of gambling addictions.” – says Addabbo.
These efforts make it very clear, that promoting gambling does not necessarily mean irresponsibility towards problem gambling. And that the solution for harmful wagering is not banning, but taking preventive steps and helping out those in need. And New York just took a great step on the way!