The Legalization of Land-Based Casinos in NY State

In an editorial written recently about the legalization of land-based casinos in New York State, some very credible points were posited. When Governor Mario Cuomo was Governor of New York, he was against land-based casinos for several reasons. Among them was the fact that these casinos would not add to the economy but would simply re-distribute wealth. He also made mention that land-based casinos would attract people who were not in a position to afford to gamble thus creating more poverty and would, in some cases, add to the crime rate. Andrew Cuomo, the son of Mario and the new Governor of New York, has made a new case for legalizing land-based casinos. His reasons for doing so are based on the fact that these casinos would provide an economic surge so desperately needed in these recessionary times. He has even gone one step further…

The Largest Convention Center at Aqueduct Racino

Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo put forth a new plan to build one of the largest convention centers at Aqueduct Racino, a new casino in a Queens suburb that opened in the latter part of 2011. This is in an effort to create additional jobs and add a much needed boost to the economy.

The Case for Legalizing Online Gambling

Upon reading the editorial that in effect told “the son to take the advice of his father,”
it doesn’t seem fair that legalizing land-based casinos should be so easy while there is an ongoing struggle to legalize online gambling. It seems to this writer that the latter would make for a stronger case. One only has to look at Atlantic City as a model and realize that the poverty level there is quite high; added to the fact that the popularity of online casino gambling has caused land-based casinos to experience a huge drop in revenue.

Advocating Online Gambling

Online gambling has been the source of much debate in Congress, and while many political advocates are convinced that legalizing online gambling would be a significant step in revitalizing the US economy, there are those who are still holding out for ideological reasons. As one of those advocates who is for the legalization of online gambling, the case should be made that perhaps Mario Cuomo was correct in his original assessment. To be fair, although Atlantic City has one of the largest clusters of casinos in the world, there is no correlation between it and building three or four new sites around the boroughs of New York. While Aqueduct Racino has brought in millions of dollars in the first four months since it opened and while it has also created new jobs, it has yet to be determined how this casino will ultimately affect the community or, more importantly, how it affects ordinary individuals’ financial status.

If It Ain’t Broke…..

On the other hand, we do know that the popularity of online gambling has surged and that it can become a source of immense revenue if legalized. Building land-based casinos may help the economy and job growth in the short term, but it doesn’t bode well for the long term. Therefore, it is this writer’s opinion that committing to the legalization of online gambling can make a difference in that it is a billion dollar industry that continues to grow. Instead of adding additional land-based casinos to New York State, it is more prudent to legalize online gambling. It doesn’t contribute to property loss, nor does it redistribute wealth or add to the crime rate. It does, however, offer online gamers the opportunity to engage in and become part of a global community of players while, at the same time, providing them with an array of monetary incentives.



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