The NYCG (New York Gaming Commission) is the official governing body of gambling in New York. They oversee casinos, sports betting, fantasy sports, horse racing and basically anything that has to do with gambling. Needless to say, they have a big job that requires fairness and a keen eye for details. However, the Appointment of Marissa Shorenstein to the New York Gaming Commission is sparking concern amongst casino and sportsbook watchdogs.
According to gambling industry news, the appointment of Marissa Shorenstein to the NYCG was made by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Their relationship stems from when Marissa Shorenstein was serving as the head of Hochul’s transition team when she became governor. However, is the such a relationship enough to appoint someone to board overseeing the gaming industry?
In addition, the main reason for the concern is her father and what he does for a living. This is because her father is Stuart Shorenstein, an active gambling lobbyist and adviser to gaming firms. Furthermore, his clients ranging from gambling software companies to casino companies have been pushing to enter the NY Gambling market.
For example, Evolution Malta, a Swedish internet gambling giant, which is pushing to legalize online betting in New York. The company is in fact, a client of Stuart Shorenstein. Therefore, there seems to be a potential conflict of interest.
Appointment of Marissa Shorenstein to the New York Gaming Commission – Potential Conflict of Interest
On paper, Marissa Shorenstein seems to have all of the qualifications for the job as a New York gaming Commissioner. This is because she has an impressive resume which includes graduating from Harvard University and the Fordham University Law School. In terms of real-world experience, she is the is the Chief External Affairs Officer for BSE Global and has held several positions for known companies in. These include SKDK, WeWork, AT&T and many others. Therefore, while her father is a gaming lobbyist, is there really cause for concern?
According to John Kaehny, the executive director of Reinvent Albany, a government accountability group, this is a no brainer. He says that the decision to appoint Marissa Shorenstein to the board overseeing the gaming industry is absurd.
This is especially true since they were numerous board and commissions to the Gov. Hochul could have put her in. Considering who her father is, it raises several red flags about the integrity of the NYGC. This is because it could lead to her father’s clients influence her decision and the integrity of the regulatory process.
For the moment, Gov. Huchu Office and Marissa Shorenstein have not made any comments about the conflict of interest. However, Lee Park of the NYGC said that Shorenstein has already recused herself from cases involving her father.
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