Batavia – Gambling addiction is a problem for about 2 million adults in the United States. In and around Batavia and New York State, gaming providers say they are making an effort to fix the problem.
Robert Williams, executive director of the New York State Gaming Commission, says 3% or more of the 6 million adults in the United States have mild or moderate gaming problems.
“Our job as gaming regulators, administrators, operators, public health administrators and advocacy groups is to join the National Council (On Problem Gaming) to bring to light the real problems and issues of gambling and millions of people across the country. Continue gambling for reasons other than entertainment, “Williams said during a discussion in Batavia Downs on Thursday.
“What is responsible gaming?” Thursday was the title of the presentation, he said. The answer depends on where a person sits, Williams said.
“For players, this may mean not using gambling as a source of income, only gambling with money that you can lose or setting a time or money limit for gambling,” he said. “For operators, this could mean preventing the problem from stopping developing gambling behaviors. For the treatment provider, this may mean making sure there are resources and treatment options for those who want help. The commission and the New York State Lottery that we run means developing and implementing an appropriate, statewide approach to responsible gaming. “
Williams debuted the industry’s first Quick Response (QR) code-integrated signage so that problem gamblers could connect with trained problem gamblers wherever they lived.
Once scanned, the QR code automatically links users to the Council on Problem Gambling’s website (www.nyproblemgamblinghelp.org), which provides access to a network of regional problem gambling resource centers supported by the State Addiction Services and Support Office (OASAS).
QR codes are available in advertising and promotional materials on issues of the Gaming Commission and its licensees.
Applications include New York Lottery Scratch-Off Tickets, promotional screens at about 15,000 lottery retail outlets across the state, promotional mailing of mobile sports betting, all 18-year-old verification signage posted on racing tracks, and complete signage framing with signage designers. Gaming facilities and commercial casinos.
Williams said the gaming commission will remain active throughout the year. It is currently giving retailers talking points and incentives to help their customers make better decisions about giving away lottery tickets as gifts throughout the year.
“In July and August, the commission will increase the visibility of responsible gaming messages at premier events, including state fairs and various county fairs,” he said. “In September and October, the Commission will re-focus its efforts on age verification through a new 18-plus campaign, combined with new lottery agent training and a statewide public service announcement campaign.”
Henry Wajtaszek, president and CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming, says the problem is that gaming is a statewide and national problem.
“We take this very seriously at Batavia Downs and we appreciate the support of the Gaming Commission and other organizations to help us,” he said. “We need to pay attention to the danger signs and to the credit of our staff, they do it. We’re trained to look at indicators from sponsors who may have a problem-gaming problem. “
Employees will take on duty management concerns to explain whether the situation needs further scrutiny and a sponsor’s options, including a problem-gaming problem.
“If you walk around the gaming floor, you’ll see decals on every device that promotes HOPEline in New York,” he said. “Our security and floor staff have information on any of these issues if our sponsors want to find out. If they need more statewide information, we’ll give it to them. Every single one of our promotional mails we send reminds people to play responsibly. “
The hotline number is 1-877-8-HOPENY (467369), owned by HOPEline OASAS and managed by contractors to provide high-quality, responsive information and referral services through phone and text messages to all callers in New York State. HOPEline services are free and confidential