The Negative Side of the Casino Referendum
As the New York referendum on casino gambling approaches, Gov. Cuomo’s study on the environmental impacts of casinos is on public display. However, despite Cuomo insisting that the environmental impact won’t be too severe, many are arguing otherwise.A 2005 task force found that the proposed casino in the Catskills would considerably increase traffic passing through Rockland’s portion of the Thruway with severe consequences for air quality, traffic safety and law enforcement activity. Last month the Department of Budget confirmed that there will be no “impact aid” for Putnam, Westchester or Rockland counties.
However, local residents are arguing that it is essential that aid be given for the communities to survive. They argue that the emergency services will need extra funding to deal with a rise in crime and possible traffic accidents. Furthermore, local public infrastructure will need to be upgraded to support extra traffic and factors such as additional pollution also need to be considered.
Therefore, while it is commonly agreed that the casinos could bring many benefits to their local communities, it is essential the quality of life of the residents is maintained in order for them to offer their support.