The dark side of casino gambling
Destroying slot machines one by one could slow the state's expansion of casino gambling.
Or, as proposed by Institute for American Values President David Blankenhorn, New Yorkers could engage in a public discussion about the pros and cons of expanding gambling options in the state to include seven live-table non-indian casinos. If that discussion needs to start with the smashing of a slot machine, then so be it.
Blankenhorn and other advocates skeptical of the ballot referendum expanding casino gambling smashed a slot machine in front of the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to get people talking.
“There hasn’t been much serious public discussion yet," said Blankenhorn.
He argued this issued has been rushed to voters in the last two years without so much as one public hearing. He contended that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and proponents of more gambling have pushed this issue by promising a very rosy future. "I think they think this is just going to slide in," he said.
Based on his recent study, "New York's Promise: Why Sponsoring Casinos is a Regressive Policy Unworthy of a Great State," Blankehorn predicts four upstate casinos, which is the plan for the first phase of casinos, will end up being a transfer of wealth from poor people to rich people.
“The evidence overwhelmingly shows this is bad public policy," he said. "It is regressive. It takes from the have-nots and gives to the haves. It does not promote economic growth”
A copy of the report is available below.
Proponents of expanding casino gambling say it will mean more money for local governments and education spending and will created jobs. The state Division of Budget estimated the initial phase of the expanding gambling would have an annual impact of $430 million in additional aid.
Blankenhorn sees things differently, saying of the expansion, “It puts the government in the business of taking money from people who are vulnerable”
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