New York’s gambling class

August 30, 2011 6:10 am

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo floats the idea of legalizing commercial casinos, this story in The New York Times offers a look at the type of clientele attracted to the former Off-Track Betting parlors.

It makes no sense to offer new gambling outlets now that the scuzzy OTBs closed after going bankrupt. Here’s how a Dyker Heights bakery owner described the scene at the OTB near her shop: “The language. The fights. The filth.”

The manager of restaurant near the former OTB on W. 72nd Street said gamblers littered on the sidewalk, called out rudely to women, and sometimes solicited money from his customers. “The bottom line is we’re glad they left,” he said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg hinted at another danger of having the state in the gambling business. “Only in government can you run a bookie operation and actually lose money every year,” he said. Cuomo should be glad the gambling halls are gone rather than exploring ways to bring them back.

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