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Cuomo stacking the deck on gambling proposition

We’re being conned by the governor. By New York State law, there can be no electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo is carrying his advocacy for casino expansion into the voting booth itself. The first proposition on the ballot reads:

“The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?”

Well, who could say no to aiding schools and lowering property taxes? In a recent opinion poll, this wording has persuaded some potential no-voters to switch to yes. But this rosy wording completely distorts and ignores the negative side of the argument: casinos’ dependence on addicted or problem gamblers for 30 percent to 60 percent of their revenue and the increase of problem gambling within the local area, together with crime (embezzlement, forgery, etc.), bankruptcy, divorce, economic hardship and even suicide. Those hardest hit are often the most vulnerable in the community – the poor and the elderly.

Who would vote for this? Cuomo is stacking the deck to persuade voters to pass a measure that would actually be damaging to this state. We should oppose this amendment!

Anna Kay France

Gregg Borland

Buffalo