Now that unemployment and poverty rates are sky high, why not open a few casinos? The Post reports that both parties agree: legalized gambling should happen. It'll give people a chance to
get back on their feet, inject some cash into the state's austere budget, and finally allow us to knock Native Americans out of the one position of power that they currently hold. Everybody wins!
So airtight is Governor Cuomo's plan to approve "Las Vegas-style casinos" everywhere—including in New York City—that he's even convinced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to go back on his assurance that he wouldn't allow them in the Apple. Silver tells the paper that he would allow for a casino at the Aquaduct Racetrack in Queens. When asked about it today, Mayor Bloomberg said that while he wasn't a gambling man, "I suppose you might have it here." Not that he'll be around to care. And surely developers, the commercial real-estate lobby, casino owners and the Governor will stop at just one.
Republicans killed a casino bill back in 1997, but Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos "is supportive of a constitutional amendment that will let the people of New York decide." Such an amendment would pass the state legislature next year, and hit the ballot in 2013. This gives you plenty of time to brush up on your card counting and fetal position- weeping.
Just last week, the Massachusetts House passed a bill that would plop a casino down on the MA/NY state line, and if it passes the Senate, will provide those revenue streams that Cuomo tells us we're losing to Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. If there's anything to learn from legalizing gambling, it's that it always works. Save your cigarette money for the slots!