New York Legalizes Gambling

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Comments (20)

(17) Simcha, November 20, 2013 11:20 AM

Gambling only ruins places!!!

Rabbi Salomon is absolutely correct!!! I remember as a child growing up in the '60's and '70's. Our family went to Atlantic City every summer for vacation before gambling was legalized. Atlantic City in those days was great before gambling was legalized there. Now, it is just not the same anymore.

(16) Sientje Seinen, November 20, 2013 5:43 AM

gambling is a social ill.

Did not the Lord tell Adam "By the sweat of your brow shall ye earn your bread." So to go for easy money, isnt healthy beside the house always wins. You never see them go bankrupt, but you see families where the husband gambles away the money which is meant as food for the children's table. they are a blight on our landscape.

(15) David S. Levine, November 20, 2013 12:36 AM

No Net Addition

Rabbi Bleich is 100% correct about what gambling does to compulsive gamblers and legalizing it lowers a barrier to compulsive gambling. Further, to equate someone in business with a gambler is a false equation because business rises or falls on the skill of the owner, in gambling the odds are stacked in favor of the House. Economic studies have shown that at its best gambling is no net enhancement to the community--just look at Atlantic City and see the truth of that. As someone with a summer home in Sullivan County, NY where gambling is supposed to bring some kind of windfall I say that if a casino is located there it will bring no benefit whatever to the County or State.

(14) Anonymous, November 19, 2013 11:03 PM

Good gambling versus bad gambling

Personally, I do not like gambling. I find it boring, and you can never beat the house anyway. I rarely if ever go to a casino, and have never been to Vegas, I have zero interest in it. However, having said that, Rabbi Salamon perhaps forgets that one of the areas where gambling will be installed is the Catskills.
Over the last thirty years, the Catskills has been dying a slow death. Save the for the summer vacationers, for which the merchants in the Catskills probably wait for all year, just to make up the losses from the winter, the Catskills have become sad and depressing. All the wonderful hotels, Grossingers, The Nevele, Brown's and many others simply faded into the sunset. Thousands of jobs were lost as a result. Now there is a chance to rejuvenate the Catskills with gambling. Gambling is like anything else in this world. If one lets it get out of control, it controls the person. You can say that about eating, shopping, alcohol, even texting and computer use.
The compulsive gambler is going to remain one regardless of whether gambling comes to New York or not. There is on-line gambling, gambling in Connecticut and New Jersey, and let's not forget about Vegas. Someone who is sick with a gambling compulsion and does not receive the help he or she needs, will not gambling more because it exists in New York State.It simply is another place to go. If someone is addicted to something, they will go to all lengths to get it, no matter where it is.

(13) Zvika, November 19, 2013 7:57 PM

Generally agree, but

I don't like "gambling" for all the reasons stated. The only thing I'd mention is that betting (on horses, dogs, sports, lotto; even on the stock market) is possible and also problematic. Perhaps the compulsive ones will find a way to ruin their lives no matter what, so the opportunity for recreational gambling should be allowed. Bottom line though, IMO, it is not good.

(12) JB Destiny, November 19, 2013 6:48 PM

So, no dreidle game in your house on Chanuka, then?

Opposition to legal casinos based on the weaknesses of compulsive gamblers is like Freud establishing his view of normal female sexuality by studying abnormal women. It's an unreliable foundation on which to build.

Precisely because they’re desperate to satisfy their cravings, compulsive gamblers will always find some way to do so - office pools, online casinos, bingo nights, friendly bets, etc. - unless they learn to acknowledge, recognize, treat and manage their addiction. The recreational gambler who knows that it's just a game? Well, you may not approve of that way of spending money and time, but if no one is demanding you pay or stay, your disapproval is immaterial. Protestantism declared all gambling immoral and made it a crime. Judaism has nothing to say about the act of gambling as a vice. As you point out, the only time it's relevant is in testimony and then we’re concerned with a Gambler, someone who either is habituated or makes his living through it, not just anyone who’s ever put money down on an outcome.

Frankly, if merely entering a casino is compelling, then I should be feeding the mortgage money into slot machines even now. I've played the slots twice. And by "playing", I mean once depositing $20 and pressing a button for a short while until I wanted to drill a hole in my head to let the boredom out, leaving a whopping $2.50 down. A few years later, my husband put in $5 for me as we were headed back to our Atlantic City hotel room. I lost it all in seconds and we continued on to the elevators shrugging our shoulders. My bank account, my family and my self-esteem are all intact.

(11) ilan, November 19, 2013 5:17 PM

not fair

The rabbi conflates compulsive gambling with recreational gambling. Those who the former describes are few in proportion to those described by the latter. Should the recreation of many be proscribed because of failings of the few.

Furthermore, though it may or may not be wholesome recreation, is it our right to deny others a harmless pleasure because of our views of it.

(10) Mort Friedman, November 19, 2013 5:11 PM

NY Casino

Note that the largest casino has been operating in NY for over 100 years. It is called the New York Stock Exchange. And you can add its smaller brother to it, the American Stock Exchange. But in those 'casinos' the participants are called by the politically correct term, 'investors'. As in all gambling you have your touts/advisors, your tip sheets/ market reports, and the house takes its cut as well, whether you win or lose. How quickly do you win or lose? Much depends on what you bet on. Betting i moderation is rarely traumatic, but betting the farm is often suicidal.

(9) Anonymous, November 19, 2013 4:28 PM

I'd have voted against it

I've only gambled once in my life in a Powerball office pool. I figured if the boss won the $5 mil I'd be out of a job. That aside gambling has never held any attraction for me. As a public policy matter I don't like it. I'd rather see investments made in more productive enterprises. And yes, of course compulsive gambling is devastating and dangerous.

(8) mykhel, November 19, 2013 4:16 PM

look at detroit- did it help?

Every reputable study published about gambling and casinos readily state that such entities produce nothing and attract a host of other social ills. What noble prize can be obtained from it? What pubic good? Casinos take money from the poor; it teaches people to live on false hopes rather than through hard work. I believed New Yorker's were much more astute and sophisticated than the average. How wrong I was.

(7) Anonymous, November 19, 2013 3:52 PM

I couldn't agree more

I knew a woman whose husband lost everything by gambling. He'd even steal here ATM card, withdraw the max. amount at 11:59 PM and do the same thing again at 12:00 AM to get as much as he could. She received threatening phone calls from his "creditors" which asked about "the health of her children". She eventually divorced him and was left raising 2 small children and a newborn by herself.

bernie rosenberg, November 19, 2013 6:06 PM


people will gamble,legal or otherwise. you cannot eradicate gambling no matter how much you jump & shout. is it a disease of degenerate gambling? absolutely! better, children should be educated at an early start. cancer is a disease but, has it been cured? nixon gave billions to eradicate the disease. it's still here!

(6) Anonymous, November 19, 2013 3:47 PM

You are absolutely right

The proximity for people to easily gamble will make is easier for people to become addicted to gambling and compulsive gambling is one of the most destructive activities possible. It is a silent killer and unlike many other addictions can do undetected for years. Even many who fancy themselves "Wall Streeters" are nothing more than compulsive gamblers. This is a huge mistake and will create more compulsive gamblers in the State of New York unfortunately.

(5) Yedidya, November 18, 2013 1:08 PM

Casinos never justified

I agree with Rabbi Salomon that gambling is extremely dangerous. No benefits can justify its legalization. Having been there myself, though, I would add that I don't think buying lottery tickets is as dangerous as casino gambling. When a gambler steps into a casino, he steps into a fantasy world from which it is very difficult to escape.

JB Destiny, November 19, 2013 7:13 PM

Yedidya, don't assume normal behavior by looking at abnormal

Before a non-compulsive gambler steps into a casino, he calculates his limit to lose and sticks to it, since losing up to that point is part of the price he pays for the enjoyment he gets from playing the game and more than that diminishes his fun. Winning for him is usually secondary, even if he wins big. And when a non-gambler steps into a casino, he's annoyed by the noise, lighting and cigarette smoke and can't wait to leave. The entire experience repulses him. Neither will be compelled to bet the yeshiva tuition money at Texas Hold 'Em or Craps because neither is seeking to fill a hole in himself through gambling. Eliminating casinos doesn't help the compulsive gambler; he simply takes his damaging behavior elsewhere, just as alcoholics will drink anti-freeze if that's all that they can get. And when the behavior is transferred, it may be much harder to recognize, since it can be given cover of social situations e.g. the office sports pool or Bingo for charity.

(4) Donna, November 17, 2013 10:59 PM


Thank you Rabbi Salomon. Gambling does not uplift humanity. Elected Officials, the business community and individual entrepreneurs need to support legislation providing tax advantages for job creation that fulfill unmet needs and contribute to improved quality of life for society.

zaydesvox, November 19, 2013 5:25 PM

Rabbi Salomon is right on!

Next it will be legalize prostitution! Then all drugs will be sold over the counter! The world is throwing away the10 Commandments...its soon an "anything goes" world! Sad!

(3) Anonymous, November 17, 2013 8:00 PM

It's amazing!

Gambling is one of the great pleasures in life! Its an incredible thrill! But like all great pleasures of life jewish law is against it. So there's nothing to debate. God says no...

(2) Anonymous, November 17, 2013 2:20 PM

I worry about our vulnerable women and children who spend the summer months up in the Catskills. They will be at the mercy of degenerate predators looking for money to finance their addiction to gambling.

(1) Lisa, November 17, 2013 12:33 PM

Oh it can be physically dangerous!

I know a family who lost everything bc the husband just couldn't stop!! First the furniture...then their house...try explaining that to your kids!! Then they threatened him physically! Let NY be known for its Broadway shows, museums, restaurants & shopping....


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