Bishops question casino impacts

Albany

Five weeks before state voters decide the issue at the polls, New York’s Roman Catholic bishops on Sunday released a statement expressing strong concern over the potential social costs of the development of seven new resort casinos.

Calling the Nov. 5 constitutional referendum “an important matter affecting our communities,” the bishops say that the state has in recent years “dramatically increased access to legalized gambling in an effort to raise revenue,” including multi-state lotteries and creating several video lottery terminal facilities.

“Even if the state does realize economic benefits envisioned by our elected officials, we voters must also consider the potential for negative consequences,” says the statement, which was provided to the Times Union.

Catholic teaching holds that gambling is a “morally neutral act,” and that games of chance “are not in themselves contrary to justice.” But the passion for gambling, the letter says, can become a form of enslavement that is “morally unacceptable when it deprives an individual of what is necessary to provide for his/her needs and those of others.”

“With their flashing lights, free-flowing alcoholic drinks, all-night hours and generally intoxicating atmosphere,” the bishops say, “casinos are more likely than other gambling options to lead to bad decisions and ………..

Source: Bishops question casino impacts

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