A bill sponsored by state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) that would put unarmed peace officers in Resorts World Casino New York City has cleared a key Senate committee.
The bill was approved by the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee last month and now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote.
If passed, the measure would allow unarmed officers into the casino in order to make arrests, which private security there is currently unable to do.
“In the event of any criminal activity or disruptive behavior that could be dangerous to the public or casino employees, the security guards can detain offenders, but must wait for local NYPD officers to arrive on the scene to carry out any procedural arrests,” Addabbo said. “I think that the threat of immediate arrest might serve as a greater deterrent to those who are seeking to cause trouble in the area, and peace officers would have that authority.”
The bill is supported by Resorts World. In a statement, Stefan Friedman, spokesman for the casino, said the addition of peace officers would be helpful to the facility’s already existing security system.
“The safety of our customers has always been top priority and we are proud of our record to date,” the statement read. “In addition to our state-of-the-art surveillance technology and well-trained security staff, Sen. Addabbo’s bill will allow us to continue refining our efforts and ensure 100 percent security for all guests at Resorts World Casino New York City.”
Other casinos in the state, including Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, already have peace officers on site to make arrests. Addabbo’s bill is specific to Resorts World only.
The state Assembly is also considering its own version of the bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park). It is currently in the Assembly Codes Committee.