New York Comptroller Tom DiNapoli walked into an Indian casino in Niagara Falls searching for food. To get there, he had to walk past the slot machines.
“It was mostly senior citizens. It was folks in wheel chairs with oxygen tanks just sitting,” DiNapoli said during a meeting with Bloomberg editors in New York today. “It’s not fair to characterize the whole industry, but it was one of those moments where I looked around and I said, ’ohh.’
“So when people say there are no social consequences, well there are.”
The 59-year-old Democrat said he isn’t taking a position on the Nov. 5 referendum that will allow as many as seven Las Vegas-style casinos and would make New York the most populous state to host them off of tribal lands. He did say he doesn’t believe it’ll provide the long-term revenue claimed by supporters of the constitutional amendment, who include Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat.
“To project significant revenue growth would be a mistake,” he said. “There’s a big question mark if there is a sustainable economic development benefit for the state.”