New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang today, ahead of the Belmont Stakes set to take place on Saturday, released the first annual report of gaming investigations since the Gaming Inspector General’s duties and responsibilities were transferred to the Offices of the Inspector General last year as part of the 2020-21 State Budget. The Office of the Gaming Inspector General’s (OGIG) core function is to conduct independent and thorough investigations into fraud, misconduct, and criminal violations related to gaming. In 2021, OGIG received over a hundred complaints, issued six letters and reports, and referred over a dozen recommendations to the New York State Gaming Commission. These matters, which are detailed in the report, include uncovering outside activities by Gaming Commission employees, including podcasting and social media endeavors, as well as abuses of state resources.
“As we complete our agency’s expansion into gaming, I am committed to protecting participating New Yorkers from unfair practices, and to ensure healthy competition is matched with robust oversight, transparency, integrity, and equity,” Lang said. “We are continuing to take steps necessary to be able to deliver careful attention and oversight of gaming from our office. Thanks to Deputy Inspector General for Gaming Lisa Lee, we successfully trained all OIG staff in the laws, policies, and practices relevant to gaming and horse racing activity, which will dramatically expand the number of staff available to investigate these matters.”
This year, the state of New York is implementing or proposing a broad range of new initiatives and policy changes in the gaming industry which will require further oversight and monitoring by the Offices of the Inspector General, including mobile sports wagering, interactive gaming, and daily fantasy sports, as well as the potential awarding of three downstate casinos licenses.