Casino expansion focus of forum
Updated: Tuesday, October 29 2013, 12:24 AM EDT
by Evan White
Rochester, N.Y. - Should New York state law be amended to allow for non-Indian casinos?
It wasn’t a question that could be answered Monday night, but a topic that was worthy of discussion.
Next week, voters will decide on proposition one. A measure that would, if passed, permit up to seven casinos. A community forum held at the Asbury First United Methodist Church gave those on both sides of the issue a chance to explain their position and voters a opportunity to ask questions about prop one.
“Is it the best way for economic growth, certainly not, however I’m a little skeptical of the problems involved,” said Jim Bertolone.
Additional casinos, he argued would provide more revenue for the state, and Monroe County as well as boosting jobs.
In Rochester, casinos are not permitted because of an agreement between the state and Seneca Nation of Indians which is contemplating gaming in the area.
Opposing Berolone, was David Blankenhom, President of the Institute of American Values and member of the Council on Casinos.
“Studies show that between 33 and 55 percent of all the money that’s spent in the casino comes from who, problem gamblers,” said Bertolone.
Voters who spoke with 13WHAM News said the forum was informative.
“It’s really good to see and hear the arguments and help decide which side you’re on,” said Donn Rice of Rochester.
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?