New York State Gaming Commission: Members & Responsibility

The New York State Gaming Commission became effective on February 1, 2013. The Commission was created by Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2012.

Overall, the New York State Gaming Commission regulates all aspects of gaming activity in the state. The regulations include horse racing, pari-mutuel wagering, Class III Indian Gaming, the state lottery, commercial gaming, and charitable gaming.

The law merged the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and the New York State Division of Lottery into a single state agency.


There are five commissioners on the board that oversees all gaming in New York. Barry Sample is the current head of the New York State Gaming Commission. The four other members serve under Sample.

Barry Sample
The current head of the New York State Gaming Commission is Barry Sample. He recently retired from Governor Cuomo’s Administration as Deputy Director of State Operations. Sample handled the day-to-day management of state government following nearly two decades in service to New York State. Sample has served multiple roles in his career from Deputy Director at the New York State Division of Budget to Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Community Relations at the New York State Comptroller’s Office. He also taught at SUNY Albany and was apart of the School of Criminal Justice and Center on Minorities.

John A. Crotty
John Crotty has nearly two decades of experience in housing, government, and finance in a variety of capacities. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation. Also, Crotty was appointed by Governor Paterson to a panel to restructure the Off-Track Gaming system statewide. Crotty was a member of the New York State Franchise Oversight Board, which oversees the finances of The New York Racing Association. He earned his MBA from Columbia and a B.A. from Rochester University.

Peter J. Moschetti, Jr.
Peter J. Moschetti, Jr. has been a lawyer since 1984 and is a founding member of the law firm Anderson, Moschetti, and Taffany. His primary focus has been on the trial of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including products liability and medical malpractice actions. Moschetti, Jr. was a special prosecutor in several high-profile criminal cases during his career. He has graduated with honors from the University of New Haven in Connecticut in 1981 and Albany Law School in 1984. Also, Moschetti, Jr. has been named a top 25 lawyer in the Hudson Valley by New York Super Lawyers Magazine every year since 2007.

John J. Poklemba
John J. Poklemba serves as General Counsel to American Transit Insurance Company. He began his law career as a litigation assistant in 1972. Poklemba has had numerous jobs as a lawyer from Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to Chief Appellate Law Assistant to the New York State Appellate Division. He earned a bachelor’s in Economics from Boston College and graduated from St. John’s School of Law.

Jerry Skurnik
Jerry Skurnik served as a member of the Task Force on the Future of Off-Track Betting in New York State. Skurnik has lived in New York City his entire life and has been in politics since 1966. He served eight years as a mayoral advisor for New York City Mayor Ed Koch. He is a partner at Prime New York, which supplies data for campaigns on local, state, and national levels.


Some of the primary responsibilities the NYSGC oversees are the rules and statutes that are made for gaming. They manage proposed rules and debate whether or not they should be acted on or not. Also, every year the NYSGC has a regulatory agenda. The regulatory agenda is an annual agenda put in place by the New York State Gaming Commission on the goals they want to achieve for the year. Also, the NYSGC oversees a five-year rule review where acted and proposed rules are put under a microscope to see if the Commission should continue to honor the rules in place or not.

The New York State Gaming Commission is also responsible for annual reports put out by the casinos. The reports range from horse racing, casinos, the New York state lottery, and sports gaming. The NYSGC does an in-depth analysis of the reports from yearly reports down to weekly reports. Anyone looking for New York revenue numbers can find different data points to track weekly or yearly progress around New York state gaming.

Another thing the NYSGC does is make their meetings public. Anyone can tune in and hear what the Gaming Commission is discussing. Also, they post all the sessions on the NYSGC website and post transcripts for most of them. This is important for the people of New York to understand the transparency the Commission is trying to create.

One final thing is the New York State Gaming Commission is also in charge of responsible gambling. They have a spot on their website for information so gamblers can understand the pros and cons of gambling, and what to do if it feels like it’s getting out of hand. All U.S. states must have responsible gambling awareness.

New York State Gaming Commission and Indian Casinos

The New York State Gaming Commission does not oversee Indian Casinos in New York. Right now, Class III gaming compacts have been reached between the New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. Class III gaming is the only Indian operation the NYSGC oversees.

However, the Board Gaming Inspectors ensure that gaming operations are up to the standards of the Compact. Gaming Inspectors are experienced, professional investigators who jointly monitor the gaming activities with the Nation or Tribal Gaming Inspectors. Players at a casino may seek State Gaming Operations Inspectors to clarify rules of a game and for recourse after filing a complaint.

In New York, the Oneida Indian Nation, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, and the Seneca Nation of Indians operate full-scale casinos. Indian land is not under state law unless the Federal laws put it there. Indian tribes are monitored under the National Indian Gaming Commission.