Share this article

print logo

SHOOT DOWN 'QUICK DRAW' IT'S A GAMBLING GAME STATE CAN DO WITHOUT

ON THE TABLE as Albany negotiates a 1995-96 budget is Gov. Pataki's proposal to broaden New York's state-sponsored gambling offerings to include what is being called a "quick draw" game.

The temptation will be great for the Legislature to add the new game to New York's gambling possibilities. It looks like easy money to the politicians because there are no taxpayers to react with rage. But the Legislature should forget "quick draw" anyway.

New York has enough gambling options already without a new offering perfectly designed to fuel any gambling addictions among the players. It's an instant game that would post new statewide winning numbers every five minutes on display screens where lottery tickets are sold.

You say you lost with the last numbers? Just hang around. Another set of numbers will be here in five minutes. Hey, you never know.

Pataki's budget depends on $115 million from "quick draw" to be in balance. In his analysis of the budget, State Comptroller H. Carl McCall pointed out that similar games had been proposed in budgets by former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo but defeated by the Legislature. McCall was, in effect, criticizing Pataki for having a corner of his budget depend on something that had been rejected in the past.

Furthermore, Pataki might be overestimating the take from "quick draw." His estimate of revenue is higher that any advanced by Cuomo when he proposed similar games.

In the Albany corridors, one of the opponents of "quick draw" is the pro-casino lobby. Any why not? In a sense, "quick draw" could potentially turn every lottery selling point into a tiny casino, blunting interest in the drive to legalize the real thing in New York State.

For the same selfish reasons, state associations representing hotels, restaurants and tourism interests favor "quick draw." Obviously, they figure it would attract business.

New Yorkers should not be anxious to add to gambling opportunities, especially with a game that seems tailor made to produce some chronic and addictive losers.

Surely New York can manage to finance its governments without further tempting the gambling urge among its citizens and visitors.

Let's fold our hand this time.

There are no comments - be the first to comment