I am a New Yorker. I have spent the past two years tracking the politics behind the proposed expansion of commercial casinos in New York and examining the cost and benefits of surrounding gambling.
I wanted to understand what was driving Gov. Andrew Cuomo suddenly to decide it was time to change a more than century-old provision in the state constitution in order to legalize casino gambling.
Thankfully, my colleague Paul Davies, a longtime investigative reporter who worked at The Wall Street Journal and Philadelphia Inquirer, applied his journalistic training to ask and answer this very question. Davies was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for editorials he wrote about casino gambling. He edits a gambling blog and has written extensively about gambling the past two years.
Davies is the perfect guide for New Yorkers who want to better understand why New Yorkers are being asked to vote on Nov. 5 on whether they want to legalize casinos and why this is a public policy issue that will impact every resident whether they gamble or not.
Davies follows the money trail through Albany and chronicles the backroom deals and negotiations that took place with virtually no public debate. This 5-minute video provides insight and context into the public policy implications of allowing more casinos.
I am most compelled by his closing invitation given to all those who will soon vote. He asks that we visit a casino first. See for ourselves if the promises of economic expansion are true. Carry the faces of those we see there with us into the voting booth.