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Long Island bishop opposes referendum to legalize gambling

Long Island bishop opposes referendum to legalize gambling

Bishop Lawrence Provenzano of the Diocese of Long Island opposes a ballot initiative that would legalize gambling in New York. He writes:

Economical development is not a by-product of gambling. The experience of places like Atlantic City proves that middle-class shop owners, restaurants and homeowners pay a terrible price as local community life dwindles in the face of the casino’s presence. In Atlantic City, one-third of local retail businesses closed within the first four years of the casino’s establishment and the number of independent restaurants dropped from forty-eight to sixteen between the opening of the casino and 1997. (3) Gambling is not good for business. It is not good for children or schools or cultural advancement. Gambling is not good for municipalities as it places a tremendous burden on the services local government must provide. It is not good for real estate development, roads, or essential infrastructure. Gambling is not good for people.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and both New York mayoral candidates favor the initiative.

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Paul Woodrum

A Casino! Just what Buffalo needs. Perhaps they could use their abandoned train station.

Michael Hartney

This referendum is part of New York State’s attempt to get rich by establishing casinos throughout the state. First up will be three casinos upstate (Western New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Catskills) then consideration of other locations downstate (Long Island, New York City, etc.) Local politicians have fallen all over themselves to promote the referendum. The state promises the usual: $$$ for education, $$$ for municipalities; increased hotel/business opportunities. Very little of the expected revenues are ear-marked for the social ills that will inevitably result. This will surely pass but the silence of the ecumenical community has been embarrassing.

Michael Hartney

Watkins Glen

Diocese of Rochester

Paul Woodrum

Unwilling to make the rich pay their fair share through equitable taxation, pusillanimous legislators promote gambling to suck more money out of the middle class and the poor. Once again they promise it’s for the schools like they did to promote the lottery. Then they put the money into the general fund for their own salary increases and pet projects.

If limited to Manhattan to fleece the tourists, it might be OK, but casinos will probably be put in the outer boroughs or burbs so as not to interfere with the Disneyfication of Times Square and other tourist venues.

Methinks +LI is right on this one but probably in the minority. Tuesday will tell.

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