Ongoing dialog with Senator Bonacic: an open letter
To Senator Bonacic:
Thank you for your response to my concerns re: the new group of addicted gamblers that will result from more gambling “opportunities” in Sullivan County.
Your letter states that “according to the NYS DOB [Division of the Budget], some $238 million will be generated annually for education or property tax relief statewide, plus an additional $192 million in annual local government aid. Such funds could be directed to mental health agencies to administer the programs you are concerned about.”
“Could be” is not a commitment to solving this problem.
We are being told that profits and jobs will surely be coming. But there is no mention of our new group of addicted gamblers who will also surely be coming. We need to have a clearly defined strategy that addresses future gambling addiction problems that includes unemployment, bankruptcy, divorce, criminal behavior and even suicide.
Your letter also states: “the constitutional amendment passed state-wide 57% to 43%. I am sorry you do not agree with the wisdom of the majority who voted ‘yes’ on this issue.”
Because the majority voted “yes” does not make them any wiser. But it does make you and the “wise majority” morally responsible to insure that funds will be set aside to care for our newly addicted residents. More opportunities to gamble, more addicted gamblers.
We need your bi-partisan leadership to guarantee that a percentage of profits will pay for this new problem. Everyone benefits when our political leaders show equal concern for the economic and psychological well being of all their constituents.
Anthony N. Biancoviso, Ph.D.