Cuomo .vs Cuomo on casinos

January 4, 2012 11:55 am

David Blankenhorn weighs in with his second op-ed in two days on casino gambling.

Blankenhorn’s piece in the New York Daily News details how Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support of casinos differs from his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo. (Disclosure: Blankenhorn heads the Institute for American Values, which funds this blog.)

In 1994, Mario Cuomo said bringing casinos into a  state “doesn’t generate wealth, it just redistributes it.” He warned that, if the Legislature proposed a constitutional amendment to bring casinos to the  state, he might “fight the proposal in public debate.”

In his book, “The New York Idea,” Mario Cuomo cited civic, religious, personal and economic reasons for his  opposition to casinos. “There is a respectable body of economic thought that  holds that casino gambling is actually economically regressive to a state and a  community,” he wrote.

The elder Cuomo is right of course. Should make for some interesting dinner conversation at the Cuomo house. Left unsaid of course: Considering that Mario Cuomo was considered one of the more thoughtful elected officials, where does that leave the son?

Cuomo on casinos: shoot first, study later

January 3, 2012 7:05 pm

David Blankenhorn’s op-ed today in the Albany Times-Union details how Gov. Cuomo and the Senate and House leaders in Albany have corrupted the Democratic process when it comes to legalizing casinos.

Cuomo has already decided to change the state constitution – which currently prohibits casinos – before producing any independent studies or analysis to determine if gambling is a good idea. If the governor would take the time to really study the issue, he would see that gambling is a regressive tax and leads to many social and economic ills that far outweigh any benefits of casinos. Since this is really about lining state coffers, that may explain why Cuomo wants to avoid any real debate on casinos.

Blankenhorn’s op-ed also references a survey the Institute for American Values conducted of leading New York economists that found more than two thirds who said casinos were regressive. (Disclosure: this blog is funded by the IAV.) It would be nice if Cuomo would produce some real independent data to support his claim that casinos are so wonderful.

Sure, casinos will produce jobs and lots of money for the state to spend, but that revenue will mainly come straight from the pockets of the New York constituents, Cuomo was sworn to protect. And the jobs that will be created are mainly low wage positions with little to no economic spinoff. Interestingly, Cuomo’s father, who was considered one of the more thoughtful governors New York has had in some time, took the time to study the impact of casinos and said they were a bad thing for the state.