Since the NYS Senate now thinks that tapping the vices of travelers is a good way to cover holes in the NYS budget, whore houses at the airports should be a BRILLIANT addition to the plan
Does the NY State Senate’s latest budget gimmick to open computer gaming casinos at New York City’s two airports tie into anything being done by State Senator Golden’s Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship ?
Maybe, if you were paying attention, you first heard or read about the possible connection of Golden’s “Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship” with expanded computer gambling in New York State right here on this blog back in November....
According to Newsday, “The state Senate is betting visitors to John F. Kennedy International Airport will want to take their chances on playing video slots while waiting for their flights.
The innovative budget proposal would provide the state about $40 million a year, a Senate spokesman said Saturday....” (See “State Senate favors video slots at JFK” by Michael Ghormley, 3/15/14, Newsday
[http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/state-senate-favors-video-slots-at-jfk-1.7403078; also at email@example.com]). Based on Mr. Ghormley’s report in Newsday today, the budget proposal that came out of the NYS Senate would make video slots available to JFK visitors through their iPads ( according to the Senate's Republican conference, there would be no actual machines in the airport; and in an aim to block gamblers from descending on the airport solely to play the virtual one-armed bandits, those video slots would be accessed only beyond the airport's gates in the departure terminals). A similar article that appeared in yesterday’s NY Post; and in that article it was observed that “...the state Senate quietly inserted a provision in its state budget plan to allow slot machines at Kennedy Airport.... The provision is buried in the Senate’s budget resolution, which says it wants to ‘allow VLTs [Video Lottery Terminals or slots] at International Airport Departure Terminals located within a city of a million or more’.” ( See “Slot machines could be coming to JFK” by Carl Campanile, 3/14/14, NY Post [http://nypost.com/2014/03/14/slot-machines-could-be-coming-to-jfk/]).
For those with a taste for such things, the entire cynical thought process about airport computer gaming is laid out in a single article that appeared in the NY Daily News back in October, 2013 (See “A far safer bet: Slots at our airports – Get more money out of tourists without spreading casinos all over the state” by Anthony Figliola, 10/25/13, NYDaily News [http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/safer-bet-slots-airports-article-1.1495919]). What makes that article and those proposals even more interesting is how they dovetailed with what State Senator Martin Golden was talking about at around that time (See e.g. “New York looking to lure video game developers to the state...” by Rick Moriarty, 10/23/14 [http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/10/new_york_looking_to_lure_video_game_developers_to_the_state.html; also firstname.lastname@example.org; and email@example.com]). As I suggested around that time, Senator Golden’s focusing on the development of “computer games” was oddly looking at the “hole and not the donut” when there was an immediate windfall in “computer gambling” right there to be plucked right out of the air ( See “BACKFILL: THE "DON'T MIX UP YOUR DONUTS AND HOLES" EDITION” by Galewyn Massey, 11/18/14 comment to my earlier 11/18/13 post “Is State Senator Golden now also Herr Doktor Professor, Il Dottore di Ricerca and a throw-back to TV’s ‘Mister Wizard’ ? — OR, is this all a send-up like Bob and Ray’s ‘Mister Science’ ” [http://galewynmassey.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-state-senator-golden-herr-doktor.html]). Well, maybe State Senator Marty was looking at the donut the whole time and the chit-chat about computer games development was nothing more than a nifty head-fake.
The real problem is that any state that cantilevers its budgets on vice-based financing schemes like airport computer gaming is adopting the economics and fiscal practices of the caudillos who ran various “Banana Republics” back in the good old days — does anybody remember the earlier scenes in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” with the hawking of the lotteries ? Any debate about the wisdom of embarking upon such fiscal gimmickery needs to look into the downside. There have been a number of reasons given to pass various types of gambling in New York over the years: initially to save the horse racing industry (OTB), then it was the jobs and economic development for Indian Tribes and then for failing race tracks. The same debate has been repeated in state after state across the country — “Any revenue the state might gain from casinos and slot machines will be negated by the crime, addiction and social costs associated with expanded gambling...” And eventually, the state will become addicted to the revenue and then seek to approve more and more gambling venues. Once we are into foreign airport travelers’ gambling at Kennedy and La Guardia, how can we keep it from inter- and intra-state travelers at those airports or from all such travelers moving through Westchester County, MacArthur, and Stewart, etc., etc., etc.....
So since the Republicans in the NY State Senate have decided to take this solid step in the direction of vice and licentiousness – in for a penny, in for a pound – let’s have them open some brothels along with their airport video gaming parlors – where such “airport whore houses” will only “victimize” overseas travelers, many of whom are probably going on their trips just to get laid anyway.