NYC Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang Gives Thumbs Up To Casino Gambling Ventures

Seems like New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang is ready to roll the dice; quite literally. Photo Credit: AP

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Seems like New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang is ready to roll the dice; quite literally.

Having switched his position on the gaming industry as of late, Yang is of the belief that building more casinos in the city would represent an economic windfall of sorts. According to a New York Post report, as the mayoralty race began to gain momentum Yang changed gears on the issue of establishing gambling venues in the city. The Post reported that last month he proposed building a casino on Governors Island.

What makes Yang’s proclamations about the economic benefits of gambling so revealing is that he had previously held an opposing view on the issue. During Yang’s presidential bid in 2019-2020, he penned a book entitled, “The War on Normal People” in which he launched scathing tirades against gambling meccas and their deleterious effects on society.

Elaborating on his proposal to build a casino on Governors Island, Yang told the audience listening to a recent broadcast of the Breakfast Club syndicated radio program that “that casino would generate so much money it would be bananas. If the city could get that in place and harness some of that — that would be one of the engines of recovery.”

The Post reported that Yang also tweeted, “We need big ideas. There are many downsides of casinos but the upside is $700m+ recurring annually largely from tourists now going to CT and NJ. That’s money for teachers, hospitals and other services. We should be trying to grow revenue where possible.”

In his book, Yang also writes:  “One thing that has surprised me is that many of these places — Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland — have a casino smack dab in the middle of their downtown. I’ve visited some of them on a weeknight and they are not encouraging places. Most of the people there do not seem like they should be gambling.”

Those strongly opposed to gambling have promulgated the notion that casinos attract low income citizens who think they can parley their relatively small “chunk of change” into some “big bucks” by playing the various tables in the casino. As a result, these players very often end up squandering their entire paychecks at the casinos. And that, of course, leads to a bevy of economic and emotional hardships as well as potential addiction.

The Post reported that a Yang campaign spokesman defended his support of a new casino in the Big Apple. “No one policy is going to save us, which is why we need an all-of-the-above strategy to bring New York City back. That is why bidding on a New York City-based casino should happen before 2023,” said Yang spokesman Edwin Molina.

“Doing so would accelerate the return of jobs and tourism to our city, immediately injecting an estimated $1.5 billion in licensing fees and $900 million in new, annual tax revenue. Our City is unlike any other in the world, comparing New York to anywhere else is apples to oranges.”

Currently, full fledged casinos that are familiar sites in Las Vegas or Atlantic City will not be given permission to open in New York State until 2023.

The Post reported that electronic table games are currently available at Resorts World New York which is located next to Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.