FRAUD, DECEIT AND CORRUPTION IN THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY
by Nelson Acquilano, LMSW, CASAC, CPP, MPA
There has been more fraud, corruption and deceit with gambling than with any other social problem. It is inherent is the nature of gambling and the extreme greed and money associated with gambling. The OTB and several New York racetracks were notorious for their fraud and corruption, showing that gambling and ethical corporate practice are incompatible partners.
Governor Cuomo prides himself on running an ethical government, yet the fraud, corruption and deceit with this gambling issue has been anything but ethical.
- Common Cause reported in 2012 that since 2005 gambling interests had spent $47 million on lobbying ($40 M) and donations to political campaigns ($7.1 M) in NYS http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=5287775&ct=12188661 These outlays included $2M to the Committee to Save New York (a short-lived business-backed group closely aligned with Gov. Cuomo); Andrew Cuomo received $715,000; Eliot Spitzer $594,000; David Paterson $204,000; $3.9 million went to the candidates and committees of the State Legislature; and to other State Senators and Assemblyman and candidates.
- The Seneca Nation soundly voted DOWN a Gambling Compact on May 11, 1994, when Members of the Seneca Nation of Indians rejected a proposal to get into high-stakes casino gambling in an advisory referendum. The casino proposal was defeated by a vote of 714-444; the nation’s leaders brought it back again and imposed it as “the will of the people” and it later passed on May 15th, 2002 because of passivity – not because it was the will of the people.
- Racinos now term themselves “casinos,” against the law, to increase crowds and profits; downstate racinos have now put in electronic table games in which the outcome is not determined by the Lottery’s central computer in Schenectady. This violates the definition of lottery implicit in the opinion of the court in Dalton v. Pataki 2005 . Deceit or fraud? http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/doubling-casinos-article-1.1340994
- The gambling syndicate tells you that gamblers generated $5.4 billion in revenue in New York State in 2010, rather than telling you that New York residents and visitors LOST $5.4 billion that year. They also do not tell you that much of that money was not “disposable income,” but monies taken and lost from family savings and family support, from child support, money borrowed against life insurance policies or college funds, monies lost from social security or welfare support, or monies embezzled from businesses and industry.
- Spokespersons for “gaming” won’t tell you that as according to a 2006 NYS OASAS (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) study, there were already 668,000 problem gamblers in New York State; and that 10% of adolescents meet DSM-IV criteria for problem gambling; and another 10% of youth are at-risk of developing a gambling problem.
- Proponents of more casinos won’t tell you that adding seven new casinos to New
York State could (depending on siting) create up to 82,000 new pathological gamblers (a 47% increase), and 202,000 new problem gamblers. They also “neglect” to say that quantifiable socioeconomic costs related to ONLY new gambling addicts and problem gamblers are more than double than the tax revenues due to the state from licensing up to seven new casinos and taxing them (at 20% overall) on the take from all users. http://cagnyinf.org/wp/new-casinos-equal-1000s-of-gambling-addicts/
- Slot machines are illegal under the NYS Constitution, thus, soon after 2001 they were re-termed VLTs (Video Lottery Terminals) in the courts to get around the law !
- In August of 2012, Federal Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn ruled that Poker isn’t gambling, but is more a game of skill than a game of chance, and this has been called a validation for the tens of millions of poker players who believe they are not gambling. This decision seemed to open the door for internet poker. It was, however, overturned in 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2013/08/06/online-poker-may-be-considered-illegal-gambling-whether-based-on-skill-or-not
- The May – June 2013 arrangements re tribal casinos and exclusivity zones are expedient, intended to head off opposition by the operators of tribal casinos to the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize non-tribal casinos. The pact with the Oneida Nation of Indians is going to litigation, with the towns of Verona and Vernon as plaintiffs. Days after the Oneida agreement, Gov. Cuomo’s administration forgave the Senecas $209 million dollars that the State had previously held were due it under a compact that the Seneca Nation of Indians viewed as having been violated when VLTs came to racetracks in western New York State.
- The very fact that the casino amendment was rushed through on the last day of teh legislative seesion without either a Health Impact Study or a formal cost-benefit study is a deceitful practice!
Permission is hereby given by Cagnyeditor to reproduce this post by Nelson Acquilano in whole or in part as long as the permalink above is cited. Photomontage by Nelson Acquilano