The New York Times: No to casinos

October 25, 2013 9:17 am

The last great American newspaper explains why New York does not need more casinos.

In a fiercely-reasoned editorial, The New York Times urges residents to vote no in the Nov. 5 referendum seeking to change the state constitution to allow commercial casinos. Read the editorial here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/opinion/no-to-more-casinos-in-new-york-state.html?_r=0

The same arguments can be made against the spread of casinos in other states. The Times cites a number of compelling reasons – backed by studies and the historical record – why governments should not be in the business of enabling casinos: Gambling is regressive. The tax bonanza is fleeting. Casinos hurt existing businesses. Home prices near casinos decrease.

The Times points to the failure of casinos in Atlantic City: “The percentage of people below the poverty line there has increased to 29.3 percent from 22.5 percent in four decades. The unemployment rate is at about 18 percent, and the crime rate is almost three times that of the surrounding county.”

The Times also points to the failure of Gov. Cuomo to make the case for more gambling: “Mr. Cuomo has not successfully made the case that casinos will provide long-term benefits.”

The Gray Lady is no fan of casinos

January 5, 2012 11:56 am

The New York Times clearly was not wowed by Gov. Cuomo’s call to legalize casinos. The Times’ editorial board signaled that casinos are a bad economic development policy.

“We are concerned about his plan to bolster state finances and create jobs with a lot more gambling,” the editorial said. “[Cuomo] said on Wednesday that he will pursue a constitutional amendment that would allow gambling throughout the state and not just in the five casinos run by American Indians and the locations with “electronic gaming machines.” There’s little evidence that casinos, which carry high social costs, will create good, high-wage jobs.”

Building casinos will generate construction jobs in the short term. The casinos hire workers but the wages for most of the jobs tend to be low wage. Granted a job is a job for many who are suffering. The bigger problem is that there is little to no economic spin-off from casinos, which do a great job of keeping gamblers on site by offering free buffets, free drinks and live entertainment. In fact, many other area retail and entertainment businesses suffer from a loss of customers, who spend their money gambling, eating and shopping in the casino.