Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Questions about casinos

The New York Times reports that the Coalition Against Gambling in New York (CAGNY) "has no office, no paid staff and basically no money." The Times describes it as "a ragtag array of religious conservatives who associate gambling with social ills, liberal intellectuals who see gambling as a form of regressive taxation, and skeptics who believe that Mr. Cuomo has overstated the economic promise of his casino plan."

That casino plan would allow up to seven full-scale casinos in New York and is Proposal One in next week’s election. It is a proposal that many newspapers, such as the Albany Times Union, believe has been "rigged" to favor a positive result. These newspapers say that, instead of just asking if voters want the casinos, the ballot language includes the additional words "for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated."

Polls have shown that most people oppose the idea of opening more casinos, but that when they read the rosy language of the ballot proposal, they support the ideas of job growth and lower taxes, even though there is no guarantee that those promises will ever be fulfilled.

The Coalition Against Gambling is waging what some consider to be a losing effort to defeat the proposal. However, they are not alone. As we mentioned in an earlier post, the New York State Catholic Conference has issued a statement raising questions about increased gambling. Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany issued a statement on why he would not be voting for the measure.

The New York State Council of Churches has a statement in opposition to the proposal here.

Many more can be found at the CAGNY website at

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