Is Gambling Finally Legalised In New York Or Is It A Myth?

New Yorkers are finally getting a taste of the life as Las Vegas residents know it, especially after watching TV series and movies portray it so much in detail. This has brought a new range of excitement in the residents of New York as many people plan to finally play casino games both offline and online on reliable sites like bk8 thailand legally and truthfully.

The New York Gaming Association (NYGA) has been lobbying for the past decade to get legalized gambling in the city, and on Wednesday night, they were able to get a bill through the state legislature that will soon lead to a referendum vote. But before you start counting up how many slots you’ll be able to play at any given time, remember this: This is not the official deal yet. 

The state legislature just passed a law, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Englebright, which sets up a framework for a possible gaming expansion. The legislation calls for a public hearing on the issue, which would then go to a referendum vote within 60 days. If approved, casinos could open within five years, but there’s a catch — it could only happen if the voters approve it.

“We have to change the constitution,” Englebright told us. “It’s going to require a constitutional amendment because we don’t want one or two or three municipalities to make all the decisions.” 

As a matter of fact, the NYGA and its allies have been trying to pass an amendment since 2009, when the last attempt failed by a narrow margin of just over 10 percent of the total votes cast. According to the NYGA, this measure was defeated largely due to misinformation about the potential benefits of expanded gaming. They claim the opponents have used scare tactics, but that’s not exactly what happened. 

For instance, opponents claimed that the proposed casinos would bring crime to the streets and that they would lead to increased traffic congestion. What the NYGA wants people to understand, though, is that these are all issues with existing casinos that haven’t changed much since their opening. In terms of crime, the NYGA says that the majority of crimes in New York City are committed by individuals who live outside of those areas. And as for traffic, the city already has a pretty robust transit system, so adding more cars isn’t going to do much. 

Another reason why the NYGA thinks this is a bad idea is because it doesn’t give the city enough control over where new casinos are built. Currently, there are no regulations governing where casinos can be built, and the NYGA believes that the current system doesn’t provide enough oversight and regulation. 

“There’s no way to plan for growth,” said Englebright. “When you’re building something in the middle of nowhere, you don’t know what’s coming.” 

But even though this measure won’t affect anyone right now because it hasn’t been signed into law, the NYGA still hopes that it will eventually lead to legalized gambling in the Big Apple. In the meantime, it continues to support local efforts to legalize some form of gaming. 

The group recently launched a campaign called “Give Us Our Gambling Back,” which focuses on the need for a tax break for the city. It contends that the state should pay for the first $500 million in public infrastructure costs associated with a new casino, and then the city gets the rest from revenue generated from new slot machines. 

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a win-win. You create jobs and you help the city,” said Englebright. “I think everybody wins.” 

In addition to the push for a statewide vote, the NYGA also wants to see gaming bills introduced in Albany. So far, the legislature has shown little interest in the topic, but that could change at any moment. For now, the association continues to lobby legislators and talk to them about the importance of the industry. 

According to Englebright, the state legislature is likely to introduce a gaming bill sometime next year, but he acknowledges that it could take until 2016 before it passes. 

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “This is one of those things that you have to keep pushing forward.” 

Englebright does admit that the passage of this bill is a big step in the right direction for the city, but he insists that it’s just part of a larger effort to increase tourism, especially during the summer months. He cites statistics from 2013 showing that New York was the third most visited destination in the country, trailing Florida and California, and that the number of visitors from other states had increased from the prior year.

“If you look at the data, you can see that tourism is really growing here,” he said. “And if you look at the data, you can see that gaming is one of the key drivers of that.” 

But while the numbers seem to indicate that the city is becoming more popular among tourists, it might not actually be true. A recent study conducted by the NYC Economic Development Corporation found that gaming could actually hurt tourism. That report concluded that the presence of casinos in lower Manhattan negatively impacted hotel occupancy rates and retail sales. 

So while it seems like the city is winning the battle for tourism, it may be losing the war. 

One thing that’s clear, though, is that New Yorkers want a piece of the action. A poll taken in July 2013 found that 61 percent of respondents supported legalizing gambling, and another survey showed that New York residents favored online betting over land-based casinos by a 2-to-1 ratio. 

But while the NYGA wants to expand gambling throughout the state, not everyone agrees with that approach. Some believe that more than one casino is needed to properly serve the area. Others contend that it’s better for a city like New York to focus on building up its tourism industry instead. 

Whatever side of the debate you fall on, one thing’s for sure: More people are talking about it. And while it’s too early to tell whether that’s good or bad, it’s certainly a sign that the conversation about expanding gaming in New York is happening. 

“I think that people have become much more educated,” said Englebright. “They realize that the money is not going to go away. It’s going to stay in the city. It’s going to create jobs for the city.”


Paul Pearman is an entrepreneur, life coach, and a motivational speaker. He is also the author of King of Life edition 2

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