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Overhaul Coming To New York Gambling Regulatory System

New York is moving swiftly towards regulating full-scale casino gambling, and along with that type of move, comes a responsibility to ensure that all casino operations work under the same regulatory system. Lawmakers are finalizing a plan that would consolidate the oversight of these casinos and other forms of gambling in the state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has become a leading proponent of expanded gambling in New York, and he is also front and center on regulatory issues. The governor would be in control of the new oversight group as the law is being written. Currently, two divisions, the New York State Lottery Board and the Racing and Wagering Board, would be eliminated and consolidated into one organization. That would give the governor more control over gaming in New York.

"Anytime there is a push for expanded gambling in a state, lawmakers have to be very careful to create a strict oversight structure," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "Gaming opponents will point out weaknesses in regulation if given the opportunity, so it is important that the pro-gaming lawmakers set up a regulatory system that is fair and stringent at the same time."

New York stands to become one of the gaming capitals of the US should they follow through with plans to regulate casinos. Currently, Aqueduct operates a casino, but full-scale gaming, including table games, could be coming to several areas in New York as soon as 2013.

Governor Cuomo started his campaign to increase the states gaming presence last year, and the issue has gained momentum among lawmakers who see an opportunity to bring millions of dollars to the state budget. With millions of people walking the streets of New York every day, Cuomo believes that casinos could be extremely profitable moving forward.

Anti-gaming lawmakers have attempted to stall the progress of gaming expansion bills this year, but support has grown for full-scale casino gambling. Cuomo understands that with the casinos comes the responsibility to protect residents. New York has over the years been a haven for organized crime, and bringing casino gambling into the mix could open the door for organized crime organizations.

That is why Cuomo has been adamant about forming one regulatory group that could oversee the operations of not only the casinos, but also the other forms of legalized gambling in New York. The plan being discussed would bring a seven member commission into effect. Governor Cuomo would be responsible to appoint five of the members, while the Senate Majority Leader and the House Speaker would pick one each to fill out the committee.

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