Niagara Gazette

Opinion

October 3, 2013

Casino issue seems to draw little interest

Niagara Gazette — When the tourist industry here first touted casino gambling as a savior for the struggling Cataract City economy, public reaction was mixed.

Proponents, of course, envisioned it as the sure way to fill downtown hotels, boost the attendance at attractions, and create countless jobs for a community still battered by the recession and a steady decline in the manufacturing sector. The opponents, as you might expect, ran the gamut from Bible-thumping preachers to the staunch anti-gambling citizen groups like ‘Casinos —No Dice!’ and “Casinos Mean Mobs”)

Many of us have vivid memories of those days: the sharp cutbacks in local industries, hundreds of families impacted by the seemingly endless layoffs, and the tarnished image of Niagara Falls in the wake of the Love Canal disaster.

Even if casino gambling was a cure, local residents never had a chance to voice their opinion. Instead, the Albany lawmakers were bogged down in their turf battles — upstate v. downstate — and the matter was not approved by both houses at the Capitol. As a result, the long-anticipated question never appeared on the November ballot.

Now more than 30 years later, it will be one of the proposed amendments in the general election (Nov. 5). In fact, it will be the first of six amendments that voters will find across the top of the ballot, above all the candidates’ lines. At present, Gov. Cuomo, who supports the casino proposal, hasn’t done much to spread the word. Local residents can’t be blamed for their devil-may-care attitude toward the question. Don’t be surprised if it goes down the tubes.

Unfortunately, an incredible number of voters usually fail to vote on any of the amendments, whether by accident or design. Surveys have consistently shown that those voters beg off with the excuse they simply didn’t understand the wording.That won’t be the case this fall, at least with the casino question. As critics have noted, the wording is definitely slanted toward the pro-casino stand. After all, who’s going to vote against “promoting job growth, increasing aid to education, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated” by the casinos? Certainly not the Brooklyn lawyer who is suing the state Board of Elections for overstepping its authority in approving the referendum language.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page