Southern Brooklyn

Poll: Should New York Legalize Gambling?


Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature announced earlier this month that the state will consider a constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling to put money in state coffers.

Legalization could raise as much as $2 billion, but legalization would happen no sooner than 2014. The amendment would need to be approved in 2012 and then again in 2013, and, finally, would need to be adopted by voters during a 2013 referendum.

Currently, casinos are restricted only to five Native American reservations, which oppose legalization.

The move, though, would not be without its pitfalls. Cuomo has urged caution, and told proponents to use the next two years to iron out a solid plan for implementation.

Locally, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is requesting that any plan include funding to address gambling addiction. Cymbrowitz is chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, which has jurisdiction over compulsive gambling.

“With the current limited availability of gambling opportunities in New York State, nearly one million New Yorkers are problem gamblers. Additionally, a survey of 7th through 12th grade high school students found that ten percent, or 140,000 of these students, showed signs of problem gambling in the past 12 months. These are sobering statistics. If we are considering increasing the number of casinos, we must also consider the toll it will take on New Yorkers prone to gambling addiction and do everything possible to insure that they are protected,” Cymbrowitz said. “If the Legislature moves forward with the process of approving additional casinos it is paramount that we have a comprehensive plan in place to prevent an increase in compulsive gambling and also bolster existing problem gambling treatment programs.”

What do you think? Should gambling be legalized in New York State, or does it bring too many problems?

Comment policy


  1. Might as well join in since every neighboring state is taking revenue from our citizens, when New York could use some of that pie.

  2. I agree with NSF. Put a casino strip along some of the still available Coney Island shoreline. Like near Seagate. Or someplace where evacuation won’t be a problem.

  3. They already have that casino at the racetrack in queens.. might as well expand. Though they need to find a better location that will bring in a lot more people. But I just dont see any borough of NYC with that atmosphere that Atlantic city holds. So upstate NY it is 😡

  4. Absolutely. Everyone’s just going to Jersey, Connecticut, or local bookies anyway. But please don’t let the gov’t run it.  OTB still must stand as the only gambling operation to be unsuccessful!
       I was at the racetrack last month, I saw the casino next door, didn’t go in, but it looks great!

  5. Absolutely. Make gambling as easy and as addictive as sending
    text messages. In this way the luckless suckers (a sucker born every minute – a
    growing market!) will keep my taxes low.

  6. Several years ago, I entered my first 12-step program and someone told me, “If you don’t admit to at least two addictions, you’re not being honest.” Today I can admit to a half-dozen issues where I lose control. Two years ago, I published a book, Switching Addictions, which details the many areas in my life where I crossed that invisible line. By writing this book I became aware of my compulsive, obsessive personality and the fact that I was not addressing the underlying issues that caused me to search for an escape. This book is available on Amazon in both book form and Kindle.
    Switching Addictions can help the reader understand and be aware of the warning signs of changing addictions. Becoming addicted to another form of escape may be overeating, alcohol, over-spending, gambling, smoking, prescription drugs, etc. I’ve heard many 12-step members say, “I don’t drink anymore, but I’ve started gambling.” Or “I don’t smoke now but I’ve been overeating.” Your story may be in Switching Addictions. If you have a gambling problem, check out Gripped by Gambling.
    Marilyn Lancelot

  7. It seems to have been the beginning of the turn around for the city I moved to.  Although we do have plans to move again (to Madison, we hope, in 2013), the city we are in now was really in the dumps, and casinos seemed to start turning things around. Now there are a lot of different industries here, unemployment is low, the economy is decent.

  8. Yes, it would be nice if expanding casinos in NY were simply a matter of recouping revenues going to other states but this ignores the fact that because of increased proximity to casinos many thousands of new pathogical and problem gamblers would be created, with the costs in dollars and human suffering far outweighing the increased tax revenues. It’s not a free ride!


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