Hikind: Put Casinos Where They’ll Do The Least Damage


casinoAssemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) is asking the State’s Gaming Commission to take into consideration the thousands of children and families who spend summers in the Catskills region at long-established camps, bungalows and summer homes before granting licenses to those bidding for the right to open casinos.
“Before licenses are awarded, I am calling on the Gaming Commission to take certain factors into account,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “Primary among those considerations should be keeping casinos away from children.”
Casinos will be a reality upstate, said Assemblyman Hikind, who voted against them. “I voted the way I did because we don’t want them in our neighborhoods,” he said. “I have no problem with people gambling if they want to, and let the state earn revenue from these establishments-create jobs and stimulate the economy-but in the name of decency, let’s attempt to keep casinos away from children.”
The Assemblyman said his greatest concern is minimizing exposure to casinos from the thousands children who attend camp in the Catskills during the summer. From June through August, the population of these towns increases exponentially as families move into bungalow colonies, children attend day camps and sleep-away camps, and others just spend long weekends.
“Adding five or ten miles to someone’s drive to a casino would hardly inconvenience them when, in comparison, putting a casino in the backyard of thousands of teenagers will certainly expose their risk to things that most parents work hard to protect their children from,” said the Assemblyman who is noted for his work on behalf of kids at risk. “I am asking that the casinos be placed closest to the city so the vast number of their potential customers have the easiest access, anyway. This will keep families who don’t want easy access for their children farther away from gambling. Anyone who wants to drive to the casinos can certainly do so but teenagers and young adults won’t be walking in from town. Frankly, I don’t even see an argument to this position. It’s a no brainer.”

{Gavriel Sitrit-Matzav.com Newscenter}