Revenue Enhancement Via Problem Gambling
The operational approach of the NY State Legislature to problem gambling is horribly clear from the voting records on S7833 (passed 55 to 4 on June 20 2014) and the Assembly “same as” (A 10075 , Goldfeder sponsor) which passed 119 to 9 on June 19. The approach is to exploit problem gamblers, not help them recover. The bill, not signed by the Governor yet, allows racinos to close their video lottery terminal (VLT) floors at 6 AM instead of (previously) 4 AM. It also increases “free” play credits. The memo is below in italics.
BILL NUMBER: S7833
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the tax law, in relation to the
authorized hours of conducting video lottery gaming and the amount of
free play authorized therefor
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to enhance the revenues of video lottery
gaming facilities in New York.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends section 1617-a (b) of the tax law to allow video
lottery gaming facilities to operate until 6:00 a.m.
Section 2: Amends section 1617-a (f)(3) of the tax law to increase the
annual value of free play allowance credits authorized for use by a
video lottery gaming facility from ten to fifteen percent of the total
amount wagered on video lottery games after payout of prizes.
Section 3: The effective date.
This bill is needed to provide incentive for individuals to visit the
video lottery gaming facilities in order for these facilities to enhance
revenues and attendance.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is new legislation.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
EFFECTIVE DATE: immediate
Comment by CAGNY editor: At 3:50 A.M. those racino VLT users who don’t want to stop at 4 o’clock are not the exhilarated, beaming young couples in racino advertisements. They are mostly problem gamblers and addicted gamblers who, if forced out at 4 A.M., would on the average leave less of the money they are using that morning than if they stayed until 6. S 7833 was written deliberately to exploit that thin stratum of casino users (perhaps 12%) who provide about half the “net revenue” of the average casino.
Coalition Against Gambling in New York honors the insight and courage of the few legislators who voted NO.
The opinions expressed are those of the writer, Stephen Q. Shafer MD MPH and are not necessarily shared by any or all other members of CAGNY. Permission is given hereby to quote or copy in whole or in part as long as the above permalink is cited.
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