Tag Archives: casinos

The gaming-industry’s birds of prey


The gaming-industry vultures seem to be tripping over each other in NY; they may end up eating each other while still alive. Wouldn’t that be cool?!

Re: NY Times article Cuomo’s $4 Billion Plan for Project in Queens Falls Apart

The interesting thing about the info in that article is that the source of the  ‘threat’ to Cuomo’s plan to milk his constituents is not the people’s opposition to the gambling plan. We never read in the article about those who will be terribly impacted by this ill-advised have-fun-while-we-tax-you-into-homelessness plan. Nope.

The threat comes from the in-fight between the gambling industry moguls  and the convention business’ we-are-about-to-lose-our-corner CEOs. As you start to read the article, you expect to read that the people in Queens are organizing to stop the plan. Instead, you read these are the reasons the plan is in danger:

a) “…the company’s  desire for the exclusive right to operate in New York City hampered the talks. “

Greed, greed and more greed. ‘I want them suckers all for me, Cuomo’, is really what  Genting is saying.  But then, do you blame them for that expectation? After all,  “Genting spent nearly $900,000 on lobbying and campaign donations in New York last year,…” For almost a billion dollars you can bet your derriere I would want to have exclusive rights to ‘operate’ on god.

b) “Skeptics had questioned the wisdom of the location, noting that it is a long subway ride to Midtown… ”

The “skeptics” turned out to be two non-relevant Manhattanites. They are not relevant because they are two of the vultures’ future victims. They don’t get  to decide on how many chunks the gaming-vultures ought to cut the two of them. They are just drawing the path to get faster and easier to the gaming-birds of prey’s beaks.

c) “The governor had also argued that the project would free up the site of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the West Side of Manhattan for new development;…”

As expected “criticism grew louder”, meaning that the convention business CEOs screamed at the sight of the gaming-birds of prey hovering over them. Somebody, please, tell them that resistance is futile. Surrender and spare yourselves the suffering; a quick death is better than a slow torment, figuratively speaking, of course.

d) “…he [the arguing governor] viewed the center as too cramped for major trade shows.”

And THAT’S what caused the criticism to grow louder. How dare you, Cuomo, call their beloved place “cramped”! Cramped is what I call my apartment, but the fancy Jacob Javits “cramped”? Thoroughly offensive (not). The way the sentence was phrased in the article made me visualize Cuomo saying “it’s too cramped” with a whiny voice and gesture. Ha! The point is that “too cramp” is too much of a lame excuse to kick out the current tenants in order to put them as bait next to the casino in Queens.

But that’s the way casinos change everything including the scenery arrangement. In Atlantic City, there’s a convention center at the entrance of the city. The two (convention center and casinos) HAVE to go hand in hand if the casinos are to be fed like whales in a tank.

e) “the state is now entering into discussions with other gambling companies.”

That’s Cuomo pressing his bet. The psychology behind that ‘bet’ is that Cuomo was probably letting Genting break the public opinion ground to see how much the people would have opposed the plan. Now that he sees that the people, as usual, is not a threat, Cuomo feels that he can squeeze more lobbyists’ money by putting the different birds of prey in competition with each other. Either way, YOU, dear reader, will be feasted upon.

Our politicians, who tender and cater to these ‘gaming’ industry’s birds of prey have already prepare the pablum for you to vote on: they have already scripted the Constitutional amendment necessary for you to vote in favor of yourself being served as steak to the industry. It’s not peanuts for our politicians to get over a BILLION dollars (including what is NOT reported by Genting and the politicians)  in lobbying by this industry.  Especially when, in exchange for buying our ‘leaders’,  the industry will get our land and mental health for peanuts.

Pretending that creating 10k jobs (which is doubtful) justifies chaining to compulsive gambling over 5 million human beings is simply…appalling. I can’t find another word for this atrocity.

Don’t expect NY State to support an amendment to the DSMR V or whatever to include compulsive gambling as an Axis 1 diagnosis any time soon. The government cannot promote an addictive behavior and then officially declare it an addiction without providing the funding to ‘cure’ it. For a government, it’s not that it is not logical to do that; with power you can make anything illogical seem logical.

You just can’t make it morally acceptable for those who still can differentiate between good and evil despite our society sinking deeper into the mire.

My hope is that the public will see through this typical cast of characters (our political ‘leaders’ and an industry feeding off each other) and vote against the Constitutional amendment.

Compulsive gambling and the DSMR


Article in today’s NY Times: Addiction Diagnoses May Rise Under Guideline Changes

Among other things the article states that “In addition, the manual for the first time would include gambling as an addiction, and it might introduce a catchall category — “behavioral addiction — not otherwise specified” — that some public health experts warn would be too readily used by doctors, despite a dearth of research, to diagnose addictions to shopping, sex, using the Internet or playing video games.”

Does it make sense to include gambling as an addiction? Common sense logic says yes, “evidence based” logic says no. “Evidence based” (in mental health)  is based on the economical needs of the political system, not on the health realities on the ground. Our states promote openly and shamelessly gambling to squeeze billions of dollars from their citizens despite the “evidence” that shows that the majority of gamblers are recurrent addicted compulsive gamblers. That “evidence” can’t be used to justify our lotto and casino economy. Consequently, the states will refuse to accept compulsive gambling or gambling addiction as a major psychiatric illness. It is not because the behavior is not ‘debilitating’, it is. It’s because  the states would have to admit that they are the cause of the problem.

The terms addiction and compulsion can’t be logically segregated to alcoholism. We choose where to put the labels.I’m not debating here the changes to the DSMR, I’m just calling the attention to the relation between compulsive gambling and our states’ promotion of it. Whether it should be classified as a psychiatric illness is not my point now. If alcoholism can be retained as an illness, logic says that compulsive gambling should be included too.  The definition of the terms ‘compulsion’ and ‘addiction’ applies to that behavior.

It’s time we look at the reality of compulsive gambling, and why more casinos are not the solution to our economical woes. Mr. Cuomo succumbed to the casino corporations and want to change our state’s Constitution to allow casinos here. That’s a bad move. We ought to vote against it.

Feel free to post your comments about this post or about the NY Times article.

Lourdes Cintron (founder of The City-wide Mental Health Project)