Rolling the dice on gambling
Feb 06, 2013 | 12786 views | 0 0 comments | 511 511 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the wake of Queens elected officials - Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder and State Senator Joseph Addabbo, to be exact - fight to raise the legal gambling age from 18 to 21, Met’s owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz hatched a plan to open a casino next to Citi Field, according to a report in the Post this week.

A spokesperson for Sterling Equities, the development group of the Mets owners, vociferously denied the Post report, claiming it was overblown, but these two events did thrust gambling into the limelight this week.

Addabbo argues that making “the gambling age 21 would ensure that there is a smaller likelihood that the youths in the state develop gambling addictions,” citing the new casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack and its close proximity to the nearby John Adams High School as a target of possible future gaming addicts dropping their “lunch money” into the slots.

The decision is one that would not only affect the city, but their target of the Queens casino would also affect the entire state.

Aqueduct has been a place of gambling since 1894 and has neighbored the school for 89 years since it’s establishment in 1924, so why have these politicians chosen 2013 to change the law when this has been a “problem” for 90 years?

If the Post report is to be believed, the Mets owner thought a casino would be a good way to recoup their losses in connection with the Bernie Madoff scam.

Meanwhile, the state currently faces budgetary insufficiencies topping the $1 billion mark for the coming year, so one has to wonder whether Goldfeder and Addabbo’s motives have been thoroughly thought through.

If businessmen like Wilpon and Katz thought it was a good idea to run a gambling operation to get back in the black, than as far as we're concerned the state shouldn't be ruling it out either.

Placing more restrictions on Resorts World given the tax revenue generated by the company seems shortsighted, especially considering the management at the casino is far stricter about who walks through its doors and lays their money down than was ever the case when Aqueduct operated solely as a racetrack.

Instead of attempting to make national news for a solution to a local issue, if these politicians want to save the youth from the road to gambling, they should look into saving after-school programs and helping parents build a stable home for their children.
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