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Casinos aren’t a sure bet

August 18, 2011
Editorial of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Publisher Catherine Moore, Managing Editor Peter Crowley

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York state again will look at the possibility of allowing traditional casinos in areas other than Indian reservations. He said the state should consider a comprehensive gambling plan.

State officials have talked about opening up casino gambling in New York in the past, but the efforts fizzled. Some state leaders have said allowing casino gambling would require a lengthy constitutional amendment process.

Several Indian reservations in New York have casinos. Among those casinos is the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Franklin County.

The state also allows electronic slot machines at horse-racing tracks, including the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, whose website advertises bringing "gaming excitement close to home."

Obviously, casino gambling already is succeeding in New York. Allowing more of it may have merit, but the state must proceed with caution.

The detrimental effects of gambling addiction are no secret, and anyone who has gone to Atlantic City or Las Vegas have seen the problems and challenges casinos can pose for communities. Poverty, crime and heavy traffic are among the side effects.

On the plus side, casinos create jobs, tax revenue, business development and other growth. For some cities and towns, the positive may outweigh the negative. For others, casinos may create more problems than they're worth.

In an Associated Press report, Cuomo was quoted as saying "If there is going to be gaming, how do you do it? That question is something we are presently looking at."

We hope Cuomo and other state officials who are looking at developing a plan for casino gambling in New York research all angles and effects of casino development. Proliferation of casinos must be limited. In addition, localities always should have the final say in whether to allow a casino within their borders.


(Editor's note: This editorial was originally published Sunday by the Leader-Herald of Gloversville, a sister paper of the Enterprise. It also represents the view of the Enterprise editorial board.)



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