Gambling-Free Services

Date Issued: June 28, 2019


  • All certified funded or otherwise authorized OASAS providers specifically authorized to deliver problem gambling prevention, treatment and/or recovery services.




The purpose of this LSB is to require all OASAS providers that are authorized to deliver problem gambling prevention, treatment and/or recovery services to establish gambling free services including the development of gambling free policies to provide a healthy environment for staff, patients, volunteers, community members and visitors to all OASAS programs to prevent negative consequences caused by gambling behaviors.


The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services operates and oversees all prevention, treatment and recovery services for those affected by substance abuse and problem gambling disorders in NYS.


Gambling is defined as any activity (e.g. a game of chance or skill) where an item of value is placed at risk in an attempt to gain something of greater value.

Gambling-free means prohibiting the presence of and participation in any gambling activities in facilities, on grounds and in vehicles owned or operated by the service subject to this Part.

Gambling activities include but are not limited to: raffles, lottery (lottery products including all jackpot games, daily games, instant scratch-off games, and video gaming), bingo, any form of betting on sports, horses or other animals, internet gambling of any kind, casinos, any fantasy team gambling, pull tabs, cards, dice, slot and/or poker machines, video lottery terminal and office pools.


The program shall determine and establish written policies, procedures and methods governing the provision of a gambling-free environment. These policies and procedures and methods should at a minimum include the following:

  1. Define the facility, vehicles and grounds which are gambling-free;
  2. Prohibit patients, family members, vendors or other visitors from participating in any gambling activity while at the service;
  3. Require all patients, staff, volunteers, and visitors be informed of the gambling-free policy including posted notices and the provision of copies of the polices;
  4. Prohibit staff from participating in any gambling activity while at work, during work hours;
  5. Prohibit any participation in any type of gambling activity on an electronic device, including on a smart phone or computer while at the service, on the grounds or in a vehicle belonging to the provider;
  6. Establish a gambling free policy for staff while they are on the site of the service;
  7. Establish gambling free activity policies for the facility which includes not promoting or participating in any gambling activities as a recreational activity for patients and staff;
  8. Describe training on gambling and gambling disorder and its relationship to chemical dependency that includes the prevention of gambling disorders, potential relapse triggers, and cross-addiction to staff including clinical, non-clinical, prevention, administrative and volunteers;
  9. Describe gambling prevention and education materials made available by the facility to patients, staff, volunteers and others;
  10. Establish procedures for service and/or referral to assist patients who are identified either through screening or self-report a potential gambling problem; and
  11. Describe local community linkages for the prevention, treatment and recovery of gambling disorder if said facility does not provide the service directly.


If you require further clarification on the details in this bulletin, please contact Jennifer Berg ([email protected]) or Rebecca Cooper ([email protected]).