New York politicos simply can’t stop casinos, and their playing habit goes to harm common Empire Staters.
The state Gaming Fee OK’d as much as three new venues downstate; Mayor Eric Adams has signaled he desires two within the Massive Apple. And now builders, gaming operators and different fats cats (together with Adams backer Steve Cohen) are racing to land the profitable licenses.
That Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul (who’s taken marketing campaign donations from main gamers throughout the on line casino scramble and has additionally advocated for playing growth) are on board with that is New York politics at its worst.
Casinos merely don’t ship the advantages their advocates in authorities declare — and New York’s have been in massive hassle even earlier than the pandemic slammed them shut.
In 2018 three upstate joints fell $200 million wanting anticipated revenues, for instance (regardless of massive guarantees from then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, one other on line casino pusher). Certainly, Albany ended up subsidizing in 2017 a racetrack with slots that had its enterprise taken away by new casinos.
That cannibalization drawback hit Atlantic Metropolis laborious, too: Its revenues from playing fell by 50% over a decade and despatched 5 of the town’s 14 casinos into chapter 11.
In different phrases, opening extra casinos downstate additionally means much less upstate income.
And don’t ignore enabling playing habit, rising crime and different well-established social prices of recent “gaming” institutions.
Plus, casinos successfully levy a regressive tax: Common gamblers are usually poorer. And within the case of land-starved New York Metropolis, they’d take the place of extra worthy improvement tasks.
But extra proof of our officers’ willingness to go to bat for his or her donor buddies slightly than struggle for insurance policies that may actually assist get New York again within the recreation.
What would that be? Deliver down taxes (and make that doable by trimming our monstrous state and native budgets); minimize purple tape; let builders construct housing inventory; make the streets secure once more.
Doing that may truly jumpstart the economic system. Large backroom offers that profit related builders and gaming czars on the expense of standard Joes are a confirmed dangerous guess.