Ny Ballot Wording Puts Rosy Spin On Casinos

09.12.13 | Bob Price

Want lower taxes? More money for your schools? More jobs? A referendum on the November ballot promises all that and more to New Yorkers as politicians seek to change the state constitution to allow seven Las Vegas-style casinos. The rosy language is raising some eyebrows among good-government advocates and those opposed to gambling. The optimistic theme of the referendum makes no mention that those claims are disputed by some researchers and doesn't note the decline of some casinos from New Jersey's Atlantic City to those run by Indian tribes, or the rise in problem gambling that can shatter families and increase crime. The measure written by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature starts with three casinos upstate. It reads: "The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?" The chairman of the Coalition Against Gambling in New York says The deceptive wording of the amendment is an obvious moves to misinform and bias voters.