NYS Gaming Commission Reiterates Problem Gambling Awareness

Written By Mike Mazzeo on March 9, 2022

Executive director Rob Williams detailed the NYS Gaming Commission’s commitment to problem gambling awareness in a video on Wednesday. 

Awareness of problem gambling and responsible gaming resources are necessary given the state’s recent expansion in multiple facets of gaming. 

The NYSGC’s “Responsible Play” PSA from Jan. 26-March 27 had nearly 10,000 spots while generating almost 2 million impressions. The PSA has current costs of just over $120,000 and a media placement value of nearly $2 million. 

Williams was speaking at the NY Council on Problem Gambling’s annual conference. He said someone from OASAS — the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports — told him: “Promotion without action is just advertising.” 

“With that in mind, the commission staff plans to conduct a series of in-person events to help build public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention treatment and recovery services,” Williams said. 

Breakdown of the NYS Problem Gambling Awareness PSA

Events listed in the video include (as told by Williams): 

  1. A gambling disorder screening day to identify individuals who seek an assessment of their gambling behavior. 
  2. Taking part in an intro to mobile sports wagering webinar on March 29, hosted by OASAS. 
  3. Completing a “What is responsible gaming?” informational tour of NY’s video lottery gaming and commercial casino venues. It started in 2020 but was cut short due to the onset of the pandemic. 
  4. April-May: Lottery marketing will focus on rebranding in action, pushing retailers talking points and incentives they need to undertake an active role in helping their customers make informed decisions about gifting lottery tickets year-round. 
  5. July-August: The NYSGC will increase visibility at premiere events around summer meet at Saratoga and state and county fairs. 
  6. September-October: The NYSGC will focus efforts on promoting age verification via the new 18+ campaign in conjunction with staff training and a state-wide public service announcement campaign. 

In January, there was a massive influx in advertising due to the launch of online sports betting in NY. As per state regulations, all advertisements must include the problem gambling messaging and New York State HOPEline phone number 1-877-8-HOPENY (or text 467369). 

Things could only pick up throughout 2022 and into 2023. 

As Williams pointed out:

“New wagering types have been added to horse racing. A rule has been proposed to allow select charitable gaming organizations to conduct online raffles. And the division of the lottery adds and markets new instant lottery games virtually every six weeks, and has added an additional daily draw for Take 5. And pursuant to statute, the commission gauged interest in downstate commercial casino development. 

“This year, this landscape continues to change. The governor’s executive budget formalized a process to award the remaining three commercial casino licensees, and a video lottery gaming facility (VLT) is coming this fall to Orange County when Resorts World Newburgh opens.” 

Photo by Screenshot
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is the Lead Writer for PlayNY, arriving after covering several of New York's professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPN NewYork.com. He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer. With PlayNY, Mike brings extensive coverage and unique story angles to what is projected to be one of the biggest and most lucrative online sports betting markets in the country. It's been an arduous and confounding process to get here, but 20 million New Yorkers (many of them die-hards) are now legally able to bet on their favorite sports teams across the state via online and mobile platforms.

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