Amanda Rosenberg ’18 knew little about gaming until she began working for an Off Track Betting (OTB) bar and restaurant during her time at the University at Albany. As she talked to the regulars at OTB, she quickly learned about the expansive industry, along with many of the issues within it. She always knew she wanted to be a lawyer, and saw an opportunity to combine her curiosity to learn more about gaming with her career in law.
This semester she has a field placement at the New York State Gaming Commission, which regulates gaming activity such as casinos, horse races, and online fantasy sports. The Gaming Commission has the authority to license and write regulations that must be followed by all licensees. The rules for casinos are different from those set in place for horse racing, fantasy sports, and others. This means that when a new gaming activity opens —fantasy sports was recently approved for New York — the Gaming Commission must develop a new set of regulations specific to them. Each fantasy gaming operation that is licensed through the commission must adhere to their regulations. Rosenberg’s typical role so far is to look into different projects, conduct preliminary research, as well as research the regulations of other states.
“Along with giving licenses to jockeys, trainers, and owners, we have to make race track regulations. This sometimes means taking licenses away for misconduct. The Gaming Commission is authorized to investigate these matters, as well as hold hearings when issues arise,” said Rosenberg.
Rosenberg’s work with the Gaming Commission will count as course credit, and will also give her real world experience exploring a possible direction to take her law degree. She is thinking about concentrating in casino and gaming regulations at Albany Law, and is currently enrolled in some classes that focus on gaming and horse racing.
Albany Law School has one of the leading racing and gaming law programs in the country. “Since it is located in the capital of New York, and not far from one of the most prestigious racing institutions in the country, the legislation is done right here in the capital,” said Rosenberg. “It’s a great place to learn it all.”
“There are only two other students in my Equine Law class and my professor is also one of my supervising attorneys at my field placement. He always makes a point to relate class back to the real life applications I’ve been learning about at the Gaming Commission,” she added.
“[M]y professor is also one of my supervising attorneys at my field placement. He always makes a point to relate class back to the real life applications I’ve been learning about at the Gaming Commission.”
Over the summer, Rosenberg worked for the Government Law Center (GLC) for the Albany Citizens’ Police Review Board as a research assistant. The oversight agency reviews investigations when a complaint is made against a police officer. Meetings where complaints are reviewed by the board are open to the public, taking place at the downtown UAlbany campus the first Thursday of most months.
When a complaint is made against an officer, the Office of Professional Standards of the Albany Police Department conducts the initial investigation, and the nine appointed board members review the investigation once it is complete. In the case of a complaint over excessive force or constitutional rights, the board members are authorized to assign a monitor to oversee the investigation of the police department.
“My job within the GLC was to conduct research on behalf of the board,” said Rosenberg. She also had the chance to go to the Office of Professional Standards with the members of the board. In doing this, she saw some of her work come to fruition at the board meetings, as well as observe final decisions on cases.
Rosenberg looks forward to the rest of her 2L year as she will continue to explore the horse racing industry and gaming regulations as a whole.