Vote No on Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Legalize Casino Gambling

Brad Hoylman

October 13, 2013

The New York Casino Gambling Amendment is Proposal One of six state constitutional amendments that will be on the General Election ballot on November 5, 2013. It would make casino gambling legal and permit the State Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos. Earlier this year, I voted against this constitutional amendment and spoke out against it on the Senate floor. On November 5, I urge you to vote “no,” too.
Permitting casino gambling has been positioned as a revenue generating measure, but research suggests the social costs of gambling exceed the social benefits by a factor of 3 to 1. These costs include lost productivity on the job and lost time and unemployment due to gambling addiction. It is estimated that each pathological gambler is responsible for annual social costs on the order of $13,000. Also, we’ve seen across the country and in different parts of the world that communities that have casinos suffer. The jobs are short-term and low-paying, and the benefits don’t accrue to local neighborhoods.
There is an expression that “gambling is the surest way of getting nothing for something.” I believe this saying applies to permitting casino gambling in our state, as well. I urge you to vote “no” on Proposal One, the New York Casino Gambling Amendment.