To improve the existing responsible gambling tools and facilities, New York State’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP) has initiated a voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) Support Program. The state’s RPP, which is formed by the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG), the New York State Gaming Commission, and the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), ultimately aims to provide individuals with better control over their wagering activity at casinos, sports betting facilities, and horse racing tracks across the state.
The VSE Support Program enables problem and at-risk gamblers to identify their gambling issues more promptly and find the tools and resources that would allow them to resolve them effectively. The tool enables players to opt for different self-exclusion periods, from one year to lifelong ones.
In 2020, OASAS conducted a survey, indicating that 4.4% of NY state’s citizens were considered at-risk gamblers, while 0.7% had a gambling disorder.
The NYCPG’s program is free and can be reached via email and phone. When contacted, the professionals at the NYCPG will explain how the self-exclusion process works. They will also provide individuals with contacts of problem gambling facilities and assist in the process of filling in the VSE forms.
The RPP Nurtures a Partnership between Gambling Providers and Gambling Treatment Providers
Jim Maney, Executive Director of the NYCPG, commented on the launch of the RPP, stating that the online tool would make the process easier and more accessible to all gamblers in need of professional help.
Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, an OASAS Commissioner and Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, highlighted the importance of voluntary self-exclusion as a precautionary measure against problem gambling. She added that through the VSE Program, gamblers could not only finalize the self-exclusion process but also find support services more easily.
Robert Williams, Executive Director of the New York State Gaming Commission, added that the VSE Support Program provided affected individuals “with the knowledge and resources to make the best decisions for their welfare”.
Besides the above-mentioned processes, the Responsible Play Partnership will be tasked to ensure that gambling operators abide by the guidelines and intervene timely and properly when they identify problem gamblers and at-risk gamblers. The existing self-exclusion policies will be revised aiming to ensure consistency across all providers of gambling services.
In its first year of legitimate sports wagering, New York collected $709.2 million in taxes, far exceeding the preliminary assessments, which pointed to approximately $500 million. Additionally, more gambling establishments are expected to launch their operations across New York in the years ahead. This October marked an all-time high in sports betting wagering volume, with New York bettors spending $2.01 billion. All these facts and figures suggest that the VSE Support Program will be an indispensable tool in reducing problem gambling harm across the state.