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The risk of casino gambling

August 14, 2013

Repeating often enough that Sullivan County will prosper from casinos might cause some people to believe it. What it won’t do is address the damage state-sponsored casino gambling will mean for our neighbors.

I don’t just mean those afflicted with gambling disorders, estimated at more than 2,000 county residents excluding adolescents and seasonal visitors. I also mean their children and spouses, their friends and business partners, and anyone else who’s forced to bear consequences foisted upon them by out-of-control gamblers. If you believe as I do that neighbors shouldn’t be expendable in the service of funding state education, then vote “no” in November to expand casino gambling.

And it won’t change the business model being promoted by our state and some in Sullivan County government, one that preys upon neighbors and others with gambling disorders for an estimated 50% of casino revenues. If that business model strikes you as unworthy of taxpayer support, then vote “no” in November to expand casino gambling.

And if it troubles you that in spite of the continued cheer leading by some for casinos in Sullivan County, we still don’t have an accounting for what’s now estimated to be a $13 million annual tab for Sullivan’s gambling disorders—and in turn, how that tab impacts county and town budgets—then you’d be right to be skeptical of the cheerleaders’ song, and you should vote “no” in November to expand casino gambling.

The Trojan horse of casino gambling: what’s inside matters.

Dave Colavito
Rock Hill, NY