Monthly Archives: November 2012

Gambling away our cities: experts demonstrate that casinos don’t bring prosperity

addiction to slot machines in casinos a serious social problem

Here is the full text of “Gambling away our cities: Why New Yorkers must fight the drive to legalize full-scale gaming” by Richard Florida in the New York Daily News, Nov. 25, 2012.

We are reprinting it here in its entirety because it is an extremely useful resource for any community fighting casinos. It is well-researched and cites numerous credible analysts who all conclude that both economically and socially, casinos bring only poverty. That is, not just for individuals but for whole cities.

Cities, be warned! Full text:

Early in September, Sheldon Adelson, the 79-year-old founder of The Sands (and a lavish political donor — he contributed more than $50 million to help Mitt Romney and other Republicans get elected), announced that Madrid will be home to a massive EuroVegas gambling and entertainment complex. When construction is completed in about 10 years, there will be six casinos with 18,000 slot machines and a dozen hotels with 36,000 rooms.

Adelson would like to do something similar in New York City, on the site of the Jacob K. Javits Center on the West Side. As New York State begins the process of amending its constitution to allow up to seven new full-scale private casinos, eager gaming interests have flooded the state with lobbying money and campaign contributions, according to a report by Common Cause New York.

In Miami, the Genting Group — the same Malaysian company that operates the casino at Aqueduct — has proposed a $3 billion plus city-within-a-city on the site of the Miami Herald building, which it has already purchased for $236 million. The project would include two condo towers, four luxury hotels, 50 restaurants, 60 luxury shops and a yacht marina.

Casinos have either been built or proposed in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, Toronto and countless other cities across the United States and the world.

This “casinoization” of just about everywhere has been going on for some time. Three decades ago, only three American cities — Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City — had casinos. Today, gambling is legal in more than 40 states, and roughly 2,000 gambling venues can be found across America.

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Editorial cartoons on gambling and casinos by B.C.’s Adrian Raeside

gambling cartoons, Canadian

Adrian Raeside has produced some of the best cartoons on the topic of gambling, casinos and the government. A long-time political cartoonist in British Columbia, he is much loved here. Cartoons via here, here and here.

If you have links to to other cartoons on this topic, could you alert us (and our readers) in the comments? Thanks!

state gambling and casinos spoofed by British Columbia's political cartoonist Raeside

The cartoon below is specific to B.C., where gambling was expanded only with the promise that charities/arts would receive 33% of its revenue. Charities only ever received 10% at best, even though in exchange for the 33% they were forced to advocate on behalf of casino companies’ applications to build new casinos all over the province. In 2009 they received massive govt cuts to that 10%, cuts that contravened the 1997 Memorandum of Agreement and thus illegal. The minister at the time was Rich Coleman of the BC Liberals. The cartoon also makes reference to the habit of gambling addicts of leaving their children in the car for hours. Many casinos employ someone to check parking lots for children abandoned in cars.

state gambling and casinos spoofed by British Columbia's political cartoonist Raeside

Dave Meslin on citizen engagement – TED video

The TED video above, both funny and brilliant, demonstrates that citizens aren’t actually apathetic, they’re just victims of “constructed apathy”—intentional exclusion from political processes.  Dave Meslin reveals our misunderstanding of what “heroism” is—that in actual fact, heroes aren’t chosen. Heroism is voluntary, messy, imperfect, and born of collective need not isolated individual action. His description of how City Halls hide development plan notices in the back of publications is quite comic.