NY announces $4.7 million problem gambling outreach initiative

Posted 30 March 2017 at 4:11 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a Request for Proposals for the availability of up to $4.7 million in annual funding for statewide problem gambling outreach, education and treatment services.

The RFP includes the development and oversight of seven Problem Gambling Resource Centers across the state. The initiative will be funded in part through a $500 annual license fee charged to casinos operating in New York State, for each gambling table and slot machine at their facilities. The RFP is available at oasas.ny.gov. Responses are due June 8, 2017.

The Governor also issued a proclamation recognizing March 30, 2017 as Problem Gambling Awareness Day in New York State.

“This funding will help educate the public on gambling addiction and help ensure those in need of help receive access to the resources and treatment they need,” Cuomo said. “We are giving New Yorkers in every part of the state the recovery-focused support they need to make their recovery possible, and bringing us another step closer to a stronger and healthier New York for all.”

The new Problem Gambling Resource Centers will serve as the hub for coordinating referrals for problem gambling services in their region. They will also coordinate with local gambling facilities to ensure information and referrals are available if needed.

“This funding will allow us to educate the public, improve access to treatment and continue to provide much needed services for those who are affected by problem gambling,” said New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez. “As with other addictions, problem gambling has serious consequences for individuals, as well as their friends, loved ones and communities.”

Under the terms of the 2013 law legalizing casino gambling in New York State, new casinos are required to deposit a $500 annual license fee into the Commercial Gaming Revenue Fund, for every slot machine and gambling table they operate. The law requires that the funds are to be used exclusively for problem gambling education and treatment purposes.

In an effort to increase access to problem gambling services throughout the State, the $4.7 million in funding will be available as a direct five-year contract with OASAS. Specifically, $1.4 million will be for outreach, education, awareness and training, and $3.3 million for the seven regional Problem Gambling Resource Centers. No capital funds are available through this RFP.

The organization that is awarded a contract under the initiative will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop statewide public education and awareness information related to problem gambling;
  • Serve as the statewide center for problem gambling resources and information;
  • Provide training, technical assistance and community partnerships; and
  • Develop, implement and oversee seven regional Problem Gambling Resource Centers, to ensure access to culturally relevant problem gambling services in all regions throughout the State, while also building collaborative relationships with local gambling facilities.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).