Logo of Quick DrawThe 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.

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  • Barbara

    I am always appalled when I go into a store to buy my $2 worth of Mega Millions tickets at the number of people ahead of me spending small fortunes on instant games/scratch off tickets. This is gambling for people who either can’t afford or can’t be bothered to go to any of the far-too-numerous locations in the tri-state area with real casinos. How anyone can deem this anything other than the government cashing in on the same human foibles as casinos – where you are guaranteed to lose 85% of the time – I will never understand.

    Thank you to Assemblyman Cymbrowitz and Ned Burke for a bit of truth about this blatant exploitation of people’s weaknesses.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      But it is high pay-out games such as Mega-Millions that will corrupt the likes of even such highly moral people as ourselves. Even as convince ourselves that we are merely engaging in a light pursuit of fun. Which means, that we have totally lost our reason.

      Gambling is extremely pervasive, and few are totally immune from its temptations.

  • NO_TB

    Simple solution, BRING BACK OTB. It worked for 40 years and then because of mis-management, the idiot mayor and governor shut it down. Those $$$$$$$$$$millions$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ were supposed to go toward education, not in the pockets of the crooks who bled it dry.
    Not to mention that the people who worked there for many years, were robbed for their benefits. I call that a REAL MUGGING for which the thieves that prepertrated the crime will not be charged.

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