Some states, cities or countries prohibit gambling; some do not. This paper will focus on the discussion whether legalizing Gambling will be good not only for the city of New York but also for its Citizens or not.
Legalization of gambling has always been a controversial topic to discuss for the lawmakers and for those who enforce it. Making a decision like this becomes even harder because of the magnitude of the factors and variables.
Legitimize gambling and there could be a possibility that the economy of the city will improve. Do the opposite and there could be a possibility that the city crime rates will Decrease. There are two main considerations that usually becomes the primary basis in deciding whether it would really be more beneficial than menacing if gambling will be considered a legal activity: Economy and Safety.
Gambling has been legal in New York for quite some time now. All New York citizens and tourists could enjoy gambling, place bets and wagers, regardless of the amount, as long and as often as they want without any fear of being caught and arrested by a police officer. However, there are still some limitations that the local government has imposed for those who want to gamble.
In New York City, only citizens 18 years old and above are allowed to gamble. All minor citizens are not allowed to stay inside casinos and gambling houses until they reach the proper age. Another unique feature of the New York City’s gambling laws is the fact that they only allow gambling machines that are operated with electricity. Examples of such are slot machines and other electronic games in casinos. Most table games are prohibited that’s why most gambling houses do not these. Those who want to play table and roulette games usually go to other places where gambling and any related casino activities are fully legalized.
Implications of Gambling in New York City’s Economy
It is very much known that New York is a prosperous city. New York has the most prosperous economy among the national economies or states of the U.S. With regards to international standards, it is the second largest city economy (James 2) right next to Tokyo.
The local government of New York could gain a lot of economic benefits simply by legalizing the operation of gambling spots. Tax is the keyword I would like to use here. There are certain taxes that the government may impose to casino owners and casino goers. Gambling establishments usually pay a larger than usual amount of tax to the city government. This is because aside from the fact that gambling infrastructures fall under the commercial class, picking a strategic location for such buildings can be quite hard. Casinos are usually not placed on or near residential zones because casinos and gambling houses are usually regarded as a breeding ground for criminal activities.
There are also taxes that gamblers are required to remit to the government treasury. For example, if Customer A won the jackpot price for a slot machine, he has to pay certain percentage of his total earnings to the government as taxes. Otherwise, the local government’s tax and internal revenue department may file a case against him.
According to Roche & Roche (1), there is usually a certain amount of money that a slot machine winner should win in order for his obligation to pay a certain amount of tax to kick in. On the other hand, there are also states that impose a fixed percentage that may readily be taxed from a player’s total winnings regardless of the total amount.
Now, we are just talking about one gambler here. Multiply that to hundreds or even thousands—because there are a lot of people who love to gamble and that would be equivalent to a lot of money. Through the different kinds of taxes that the local government imposes on individuals linked to gambling activities—the owner of a gambling den is not exempted, New York City’s coffers will be filled with gambling money.
Crime and Safety
Casinos and gambling infrastructures have long been linked to the ever increasing crime rates of New York City. Now, a lot of people are afraid to go to casinos because they think that their life could be in danger even with the protection offered by the security guards and local policemen stationed outside. Such has also resulted to a scenario wherein the local government does not want to add more gambling businesses around the city because they are getting bothered about the increasing crime rates. While a small percentage of the total criminal activities that happen around the huge city of New York may undeniably attributed to the presence of casinos, it does not necessarily mean that they will always be the ones to blame for the staggering crime levels in the overpopulated city. There sure are a lot of variables and factors that need to be considered and weighed carefully before the authorities could jump up to a conclusion that says that it’s the gambling houses and casinos’ fault why there are a lot of criminals in the city. I mean, let us not be exaggerated. If you an individual is going to visit a casino, chances are he will find it more orderly and organized and most of all, crime free inside than in any part of the city.
According to a study conducted by Morris (1), there is indeed a correlation between a city’s current crime rates and the number of casinos inside the city but such fact should not necessarily lead to the conclusion that casinos equals to high crime rates. Gambling brings in money to the local government’s treasuries which could later on be used to pay for the public services that the whole city and its residents may enjoy. The attribution to crime is actually the only significant problem that you may find unpleasing about legalizing gambling in New York City.
After carefully weighing the pros and cons of gambling, it is quite clear that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Crimes that are sometimes not even related to gambling activities are still being linked to the presence of casinos. However, there are indeed a certain percentage of the total crimes in New York City that are related to gambling. Some are directly related and some are not. However, the heaviest factor here is the fact that casinos bring in wealth to the government. Through the taxes that the government collects from casino owners and gamblers, New York City’s coffers will be filled with a lot of money fast. The money that the local government could collect is of course used to provide better quality services for the sake of the city and its citizens.
Roche, R., & Roche, E. Casino Taxes. Casino Reports.org. 2007.
James, B. New York’s Current Economy. Forbes Website. 2006.
Morris, F. Does the Presnce of Casinos Increase Crime. Journal of Criminology. 2006.