State’s casino proposal won’t help local residents
On Tuesday, New York residents will vote on an amendment to the state constitution to allow up to seven new casinos in the state. It is Proposition 1 – authorization to establish casinos. New York already has five Indian-run casinos and electronic gambling at nine racetracks. Pro-casino forces spent $1 million in May and June to get this proposal on the ballot, and $59 million since 2005.
So what is in it for local voters? Gov. Andrew Cuomo claims it will create jobs, lower taxes and provide school aid from its revenues. If there are seven new casinos in upstate, how will it benefit local residents? More casinos means less local casino business, which will negatively affect local casino jobs. Less revenue for local casinos like Seneca Niagara will mean less donations by them to local charities. Less money for local casinos also means less shared revenue to the state and smaller shares to certain municipalities.
I for one see no benefit to local residents, and encourage voters to say no to Proposition 1. Anti-gambling groups, including the U.S. Catholic bishops, also voice their disapproval, but for other reasons. Vote no.
Michael A. Parsnick