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Support for gambling casinos faces ethical questions

Casino machine
Casino machine
Ralf Roletschek - Fahrradtechnik und Fotografie

Several developers and casino operators in Albany struggled to submit the $1 million application fee to the casino proposal team, However, the group faces other struggles. Opponents of the casino, called “No Casinos in the Capital District,” criticized Mayor Kathy Sheehan and the Albany Common Council for their decision of hosting such a venture here in the Capital.

Supporters of a casino justify their decision by pointing out the jobs that would be created from such a venture, and the revenue it would generate. Opponents say casinos prey on gambling addicts and the working class, and produce nothing of value.

Is this going to lead to an ethical debate? On one hand, the economy is an issue and upstate NY has to do something to generate revenue. But then why hasn't New York been friendlier to businesses rather than crush them under their feet? If jobs was the issue, they could have done better to reward businesses for hiring rather than impose more taxes and fees.

Hosting a casino may create gambling problems as well. And the question is whether Albany wants to prey on addicts just to build revenue. Temptation will certainly be a problem. And will it bring in other evils; such as sharks, prostitution, and other desperate crooks who will prey on patrons for a fast buck? So we have to ask if that is the best way to create jobs and revenue. As 1 Timothy warns, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” This will no doubt create problems for some.

Does Albany have to take an unethical approach for its economy? Certainly Albany legislators can do more for the City by cleaning up its corruption, practice accountable spending, help welfare recipients wean off the programs by offering positive solution, and build a better relationship with businesses and entrepreneurs.


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