The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, warned today that Governor Cuomo’s proposal to add ‘Quick Draw’ to 780 new locations statewide and lower the minimum age to 18 “will spell big trouble” without an increase in prevention and treatment programs for compulsive gambling.
“They don’t call it ‘video crack’ for nothing,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said of the fast-paced and highly addictive game. “The extra $25 million the state stands to gain from putting Quick Draw in convenience stores will mean a lot less if you end up with a whole new crop of addicts, especially 18- or 19-year-olds, who can’t extricate themselves from the bright lights and instant gratification of the machines.”
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz has been vocal about the state’s responsibility to address the “dark side” of gambling amid the Governor’s push to expand the industry’s visibility upstate with new gaming venues. In December 2012, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz presided over a public hearing that examined programs and services for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling and the potential impact of increased gambling on communities.
There are already an estimated one million New Yorkers who have been identified as problem gamblers, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. Data compiled by the Research Institute on Addictions in Buffalo shows that problem gambling increases in frequency during the teen years and continues to rise, reaching its highest levels in the 20s and 30s. To Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, this is precisely the audience that will find Quick Draw machines so tempting.
“This isn’t Russian Roulette. If we’re going to increase gambling opportunities, we have to do it responsibly and with a commitment to address the potential dangers,” he said.