Opinion Editorial on Casino Gambling

Daily News

Gov. Cuomo should drop flirtation with casino gambling as answer to New York's revenue problem

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gov. Cuomo has floated the possibility of legalizing casinos in New York in a much-needed rethinking of the state's gambling policy.

He is absolutely right that New York's constitutional ban on casino gaming has become a joke, as Indian-run gambling houses and state-sponsored video lottery parlors have proliferated.

But this unfortunate reality is no argument for more gambling - and no reason for Cuomo to surrender to casinomania.

The idea that casinos would lure high rollers from other states is a long shot at best. More likely, they would cater to homegrown gamblers, creating only the illusion of economic development.

Cuomo should focus on properly managing the gambling we already have - and ending the worst abuses of a broken system.

A top priority must be stopping the diversion of profits from the lottery's video slot machines to subsidize horse-racing tracks.

The practice flies in the face of the state's promise that all lottery proceeds would be dedicated to public schools. Worse, it's using state-sponsored gambling to support more gambling - and a dying sport, at that.

Cuomo should also put the brakes on the Lottery Division's drive to offer computerized versions of games such as roulette that violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the constitutional ban.

New York raises more than enough money by exploiting the weaknesses of its own citizens.



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