New Commercial Casinos Will Mean Thousands of New Gambling Addicts

Adverse Impact of New In-state Casinos on Prevalence of Pathological and Problem Gamblers in New York State

Stephen Q. Shafer, M.D., M.A., M.P.H.

Summary: Up to seven new commercial casinos would be allowed by a proposed amendment to the State Constitution, risking the creation of eighty thousand new gambling addicts and two hundred thousand new problem gamblers in New York State. The quantifiable costs related just to these new out-of-control gamblers would far outweigh the tax revenues New York State would see from “recapturing” gamblers who  had been crossing state lines and also taxing new in-state casinos on their take from new gamblers. The number of pathological (addicted) gamblers and problem gamblers created would exceed the number of new hires at the casinos by a factor of ten or more.

If you would like to read more of the paper Dr. Stephen Shafer delivered at our latest event,on December 6th, you can download the paper as a pdf: NewCasinos=1000addictsAn earlier version of this  report was delivered to Governor Cuomo’s office on Nov 30 2012.”

Dr. Stephen Shafer lives in Saugerties,  NY.  He retired in 2010 after thirty-two years on the Faculty of Medicine, Columbia University.  At retirement,  Dr. Shafer  held the rank of  Clinical Professor of Neurology at Harlem Hospital Center.  A graduate of Harvard College, he earned three degrees from Columbia University: M.D. ; Master of Public Health (Epidemiology); M.A. (Political Science).  Dr. Shafer is Vice-Chairperson of the Coalition Against Gambling in New York, a statewide organization based in Buffalo.  He has never received compensation of any kind from any organization opposed to legalized  gambling.




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