New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens), the State Legislature’s leading opponent of gambling, announced today his strong opposition to the massive expansion of gambling-related proposed initiatives contained within the 2009-2010 Executive Budget.
“The Executive Budget proposed by Governor Paterson contains the most massive expansion of lottery and gambling provisions in recent memory, “Padavan said. “In challenging fiscal times like these, the last thing the State should be doing is expanding gambling. This is a bad bet that is troublesome and risky in a number of ways. At this time, to place a heavy reliance on gambling revenue is a false promise and will only create more problems than solutions.”
The Governor’s proposed spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, starting on April 1st, calls for the permanent authorization for the operation of Quick Draw. Additionally, the spending plan eliminates restrictions related to Quick Draw. The Executive Budget also allows the Division of the Lottery to enter into additional multi-jurisdiction games.
“We cannot and should not head down this path,” Padavan said. “Problem gambling is a growing and silent epidemic throughout our state. Year after year, compulsive gambling sends thousands into financial despair. The state is faced with many challenging choices in order to overcome our growing fiscal crisis and with the long-term problems that compulsive gambling has on families and communities throughout our state, increasing gambling is a choice we cannot afford to make.”
Governor Paterson is also calling for video lottery gaming at Belmont Park, eliminating the restriction on the number of hours per day the video lottery terminals (VLT’s) may operate and eliminating the sunset provision for the VLT program.
“VLT’s at Belmont and the changes to Quick Draw will open the door to the rise of problem and compulsive gambling right here in our community,” Padavan said. “My steadfast opposition to placing VLT’s in our community remains strong. We will only be gambling our future away if these proposals are enacted