Albany greases the gambling skids

March 27, 2012 1:25 pm

New York voters are more than a year away from getting a chance to decide if the state should legalize commercial casinos, but lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to overhaul the gambling commission.

Nothing like putting the cart before the horse.

Never mind the state’s Constitution prohibits gambling. Never mind the General Assembly voted to change the Constitution late at night with little public debate about the downsides of gambling, let alone an independent cost-benefit analysis of allowing more casinos. Never mind the General Assembly must take a second vote to change the Constitution. Never mind that voters must then approve the Constitutional change, even though the public has no idea where the casinos will be located or any other details for that matter. Never mind the entire process is taking place in secret behind closed doors in Albany. And never mind that the proposed gambling board doesn’t measure up to similar boards in other casino states like New Jersey or Nevada.

Details, details. Lawmakers are obviously confident they will wire, er, work out all the issues. But first things first: overhaul the gambling commission in order to grease the skids for all the changes by consolidating most of the power in the hands of Gov. Cuomo. That way the commission will be in position to ram through all the changes to a public policy designed to strip wealth from citizens, while making it appear like there was the pretense of a process.

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One thought on “Albany greases the gambling skids

  1. I agree that they aren’t going about things the best way in this instance, but casinos aren’t all bad. First, we can’t protect people from themselves. We can’t treat adults like young children forbidding them to do anything that may be harmful. If they want to gamble they will. Second, casinos can be a great source of revenue for the state. Times like these require state governments to find new sources of revenue, just like many other times in the past. Just like with other things in life, how about alcohol, people will have to be responsible and exercise self-control regarding gambling. However, let’s not completely shelve the idea and benefits because of some downsides.

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