New legislation aims to allow NYC casinos & racinos to hire convicted felons

New legislation aims to allow NYC casinos & racinos to hire convicted felons

New York casinos and racinos will likely be able to field more applications from interested workers if a new legislation sent to Governor Kathy Hochul becomes law as it aims to allow even certain convicted felons to work inside such commercial gambling-friendly properties.

Currently, New York laws prohibit anyone with a felony conviction on their criminal record from getting a job in casinos or any other facility that fall under the category of the state’s commercial gaming industry. However, that could change soon as state lawmakers are trying to put that condition to an end.

In the month of June this year, the legislature of New York State approved a bill (Senate Bill 1443B) that aims to qualify felony convicts for employment in the commercial gaming industry. The legislation was introduced by state Senator Joe Addabbo (a Democrat from Queens), while Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (a Democrat from Mount Vernon) championed the statute in the State Assembly.

Surprisingly, the bill gained strong bipartisan support. Members of the State Assembly voted 110 to 34 in favor of the bill, and the members of the Senate approved the statute by voting 56 to 7.

While Governor Kathy Hochul has yet to reveal whether she intends to sign the measure or not, many experts are optimistic that the Democratic governor will sign the measure to turn it into a state law.

The bill in question would remove hiring hurdles for New York State’s four upstate commercial casinos (The Del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, Seneca County, Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia, the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, and Tioga Downs in Nichols) and a couple of downstate racinos. The two downstate racinos offer only video lottery terminals and electronic table games.

The legislation in question reads, “No casino key employee license shall be denied solely on the basis of a conviction. The mandate qualifies former criminals only if the applicant has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation.”

If Governor Hochul signs the bill, it would definitely allow more New Yorkers to consider jobs in the stat’s commercial gaming sector.

However, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) would still have the authority to deny a key employee license due to an applicant’s serious criminal record. In simple words, even the new law would prevent criminals convicted of felony theft, fraud, perjury, embezzlement etc. from being allowed to work in the state’s commercial gaming industry.

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