Albany Law School is set to launch the nation’s first concentration in equine, racing and gaming law in response to growing demand for qualified attorneys in the field.
The concentration will be available for incoming students starting in September. The development of four casinos in New York by next year was a driver for the new offering.
“Throughout New York and beyond, there is currently and will be an unmet need for attorneys trained in the legal and regulatory infrastructure of the equine, racing and gaming industries,” said Penelope Andrews, president and dean of Albany Law School. “Currently, no U.S. law school offers a comprehensive program in law relating to these industries.”
The new law concentration will be offered through The Saratoga Institute for Equine, Racing and Gaming Law within the school’s Government Law Center. The program, which includes racing regulations and gaming industry law, will be added to a current business concentration.
The business concentration at Albany Law provides courses in administrative, insurance, employment and tax law. The expanded focus in racing and gaming law will also include educational conferences, events and seminars at the school.
“Specialized coursework will allow students to master complex regulatory law and administrative hearing concepts, while internships and field placements will provide hands-on opportunities for skills practice,” said Ray Brescia, director of the Government Law Center. “Students graduating from the program will be poised to become industry leaders in the private sector and government agencies.”
Brescia said the concentration was not created in direct response to the expansion of casino gambling in New York, but it was one factor that alerted the school to potential for future demand in the industry. He said current students at Albany Law have already expressed an interest in the concentration.
As part of the casino expansion in the state, four casinos with live table games will be established in the Capital Region, Catskills and Southern Tier by next year. Several sites in the region are being proposed by developers, including properties in Albany, Rensselaer, Montgomery, Schenectady and other counties.
The school is working to line up legal internships for students who enter the program in September. The concentration will prepare students for practicing racing and gaming law in the state and also on the national and international level.
“This is a concentration that is equivalent to an undergraduate major for students,” Brescia said. “It prepares them for practices in these industries and includes some courses we already have, along with new ones in the curriculum.”
According to a release from the school, Albany Law is seeking long-term funding sources to sustain the new concentration. Albany Law School was founded in 1851 and is the oldest law school in the state.