Cuomo’s gambling expansion plan

January 24, 2013 9:41 am

For a leader who has been so progressive in shaping gun policy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been equally regressive when it comes to the state’s ever evolving gambling policy.

Last year, Cuomo proposed a flawed plan to change the state’s Constitution to allow seven casinos scattered across the state. Now, Cuomo wants the “first phase” of that plan to be restricted to three casinos located in upstate New York. Cuomo wants lawmakers and voters to approve his casino plan without disclosing where exactly the casinos would be located.

Why the secrecy? Would you vote for a landfill or a nuclear power plant without knowing where it would be located? No. So why should anyone be asked to approve a casino without knowing the location?

Cuomo’s casino plan is just part of his broader expansion of gambling to every corner of New York. If approved, once the three casinos are allowed, more will surely follow. Cuomo’s gambling policy is a vicious cycle that resembles a gambler chasing his loses.

Cuomo also wants to allow as many as 800 smaller corner stores to sell the controversial Quick Draw. The move would open the game to gamblers age 18 or older. Currently, the game is limited to gamblers over 21. The measure would only generate an additional $25 million for the state, but it would be one more way to get young people hooked on gambling.

The problem is the more New York comes to rely on gambling to fill state coffers, the more it will continue to push a wide variety of gambling games, including more casinos and lottery sales. It is all part of race to the bottom that is playing out in more and more states that have become hooked on gambling.

The upshot will be an eventual saturation of gambling that leaves states struggling to figure out how to entice residents to lose more money. That is happening in Indiana, a state that bet on casinos years ago, but is now facing increased competition from neighboring states, as The New York Times detailed.Lawmakers there are scrambling to figure out how to replace an expected drop in gambling revenue. Big surprise: the plan includes adding more gambling. It is getting harder to figure out who is more addicted to gambling: lawmakers or people who sit in front of slot machines for hours on end.

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One thought on “Cuomo’s gambling expansion plan

  1. Casinos and landfills are, by far, the top 2 types of projects most opposed locally.

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