Smashing slot machines is an honorable American tradition. That's what one organizer of Tuesday's slot machine smashing event called the demonstration. With less than a month left before the casino amendment is put up to a vote, YNN's Karen Tararache learned more about how much is really at stake.
ALBANY, N. Y. -- Just like that, David Blankenhorn re-enacted a historic moment.
The scene was a little different 70 years ago when former NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia smashed 50 slot machines, but the message, Blankenhorn insists, is still the same.
"We have no business cheating people to raise money for the state and we have no business taking money from the people who have less in order to pay taxes to protect the people who have more, so it's a transfer to the have nots to the have mores," Blankenhorn said.
According to a recent report published by the Common Cause, in the past two years, nearly $3.3 million has been shelled out to politicians and committees supporting the casino referendum.
Common Cause Executive Director Susan Lerner said, "The three men in the room, the Senate Campaign Committee, the Assembly Campaign Committee and the governor, have gotten the lion’s share of the money."
With Election Day less than a month away, some are still questioning the benefits of expanding casino gambling in New York State.
E. J. McMahon, President of the Empire Center for Public Policy, said, "In terms of promising world class destination resorts for Upstate New York, that's preposterous. That's never going to happen. There's not going to be a world class destination resort in Binghamton and it's not going to super charge tourism."
Blankenhorn added, "In the old days the mobsters sponsored the gambling and then they would get bags of money and now when the state sponsors it, they get bags of money it goes to the state to pay for government."