Well, New Yorkers, you get what you vote for.
And during the COVID-19 crisis, that means you get a whole lot of nonsense.
If you’ll remember, it was New York governor Andrew Cuomo who mandated that elderly coronavirus patients be sent back into their nursing homes rather than be treated in local hospitals and outpatient centers.
This bafflingly stupid policy resulted in many thousands of deaths, and New York leads the US in coronavirus fatalities by a wide margin as a result.
Now, that same genius politician (aren’t they all?) has declared that the state’s commercial casinos are “nonessential” and will continue to be shuttered indefinitely.
The “nonessential” New York casino industry employs some 26,000 New Yorkers both directly and tangentially in related down-channel markets, and the industry – with its 28 gambling locations – generates some $2 billion in annual tax revenue for the deeply indebted state.
While the state’s tribal operators have been up and running for months, New York’s already-struggling commercial casinos are forced to continue to struggle, along with their thousands of furloughed employees.
Now more than ever, the casino industry sure seems essential.
Of course, the “essential” designation is an affront to all those who work to pay their bills and structure their lives – and their mental and physical well-being – around gainful employment.
In other words, by any metric of healthy society, all jobs are essential.
Do land-based casinos represent more inherent risk than, say, land-based grocery stores? Given the extreme lengths to which reopening US casinos have gone in order to ensure proper social distancing and sanitation, it seems that these venues aren’t exactly breeding grounds for viral spread.
In many states, casinos have opened with strict coronvirus protocols in place, and after weeks or months of resumed operations, there have been no meaningful spikes in coronavirus cases as a direct result.
Of course, given the fear surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak, there are plenty of patrons – particularly those more elderly patrons – who would forego returning to these venues in the near term of their own responsible volition.
But it isn’t enough for government to leave the risk up to the citizenry. They don’t know what’s best for them, after all. A guy who throws infected patients into elderly care centers, however, knows exactly what the doctor ordered.
The hypocrisy is only eclipsed by the inherent tyranny of such “leaders.”
Regardless, New York is now in a real bind when it comes to gambling.
The state just legalized sports betting at its four upstate commercial venues, and when sports were on hiatus, there wasn’t anything to bet on. Fair enough.
But sports are finally back in a big way.
Indeed, the New York Yankees are the current favorites to win the 2020 World Series, and with NFL season right around the corner, the state will miss out on all the billions in betting handle – not to mention casino gaming handle – that NY residents typically account for.
That said, all is not lost, even if you can’t catch a break at your favorite gambling spot. That’s because – despite NY not offering mobile sports betting or gambling in a domestic capacity – you can actually legally bet on all the sports and table games you want with any reputable international gambling site.
These sites are safe and legal for NY residents to use, with some of the most respected names in the industry accepting Empire State residents in spite of their petty emperor.
These legitimate online casinos actually offer even more than the local hotspots in New York, with hundreds of RNG table games, live dealer games, sportsbooks with odds on dozens of international leagues, racebooks with support for tracks around the world, and poker rooms with tens of thousands of players vying for six- and seven-figure jackpots.
In the future, perhaps the residents of New York will implore their government to legalize online sports betting and casino gambling, given that all it takes to shut down the popular pastime is a bad flu.
While we don’t expect the state to actually act in the interest of its residents, we’re just glad that gamblers can still actually gamble.
If you live in New York, you have our condolences.
And you have our invitation to join us at the virtual felts.
Source: Democrat & Chronicle