Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gambling at Aqueduct.

Now I love Thoroughbred Racing and just about anything that would help it survive, but I am SO OPPOSED to VLT’s.

From the NYT’s:

May 10, 2008


Gambling Is Never Enough

Like a gambling addict certain that his luck will turn on the next roll of the dice, New York State is betting that vastly expanding gambling at the Aqueduct in Queens is part of the answer to the budget deficit. The state’s overly generous revenue projection is based on the hope that bidders will pay $250 million for development rights from the state-owned racetrack, and with it, the right to add 4,500 video slot machines that would provide the state a worry-free revenue stream.

It is never that simple. Video lottery terminals are similar to slot machines except for a few details that, taken together, provide enough of a fig leaf to make the machines legal under the state Constitution. They are addicting all the same to a minority of players who too often experience a variety of social ills.

If the state goes through with its plans, the people who would experience the brunt of those difficulties are the residents of Queens. Problem gambling doubles within 10 miles of a gambling facility, according to study published in 2004 that included a nationwide survey of 2,631 adults. This means thousands of people who do not currently have a gambling addiction would, in all probability, get hooked with the addition of these video lottery terminals at the Aqueduct. How much extra revenue are these people’s lives worth?

Gambling is an awful way to fill a hole in the budget. There are already more than 12,000 video lottery terminals in eight facilities across New York. No matter how much the state rakes in from gambling, it never seems to prevent budget deficits. This year is no different. The state would be better off finding a source of revenue that doesn’t prey upon its own people.

Hell, I rarely put $2.00 down on one of my favorite horses. I guess I am somewhat risk averse. Also, I have never bought a lottery ticket. Gambling hasn’t plugged that hole in any of the state budgets so far. Why would we think VLT’s will do it?


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