Casinos and Weed: Hypocritical Licensing Policies Will Create the Perfect Storm for NYC in 2023

On the Sidewalks of New York is a weekly feature at Human Events wherein Jacqueline Toboroff, a native New Yorker, will share her observations and candid commentary on the goings-on in our nation’s largest city. Wherever you live, and whatever you feel, there is no escaping the fact that New York City matters.

New York City Mayor Adams prioritizes convicts in getting a license to sell drugs. He made it easy and inexpensive. Somehow, the program of convicts loosed from Rikers is coming to your neighborhood to sell drugs to your children under the all-encompassing umbrella of “social justice,” “diversity,” “equity,” and backdoor reparations. 

Mayor Adams says, “I want to talk about those who are part of the legacy project, those with prior convictions because of heavy-handed policing in many of the communities. Yes, they should be front in line to receive some of the licensing, but we need to go throughout the entire process. We don’t want just to be those individuals to be part of selling.” Translation, Adams says one effectively needs a background in crime to sell drugs. 

The price for a cannabis license fee for a dispensary is $300 per retail location. This is about the price of two cartons of cigarettes or a tank of gas post-Keystone pipeline. 

Now, let’s look at another Democrat scheme to rattle New York City; casinos. 

In 1833 New York became the first state to enact a constitutional ban on lotteries. However, things have changed. In 2014, New York state legislators legalized casinos, stipulating that they can’t open in New York City until 2023.  Happy New Year, and welcome to 2023. 

The Democrats killed the theater industry during the pandemic. Not to worry, a plan is in place. Caesars and Manhattan developer SL Green intend to develop 1515 Broadway into a casino called Caesars Palace Times Square. Related Companies and Wynn Resorts are bidding to build a casino in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan. Hard Rock, owned by Florida’s Seminole tribe, has thrown its hat in the ring, interested in three potential casino locations in Manhattan. “Donors associated with Hard Rock gave Hochul’s campaign more than $100,000 in 2022.”

Why should treatment between acquiring a license to sell drugs or having a gambling facility be any different? Well, “social justice,” “diversity,” and “equity” seemingly only apply to convicts and guarantee an inconsequential sum to operate versus what prospective casino owners must pay. The city believes it can bilk law-abiding billionaires out of being able to afford.

Hypocrisy; if you’re a convict, you get “social justice,” “diversity,” and “equity” for free. If you’re a law-abiding citizen, you have to come up with at least $500 million dollars and take a risk. 

A NY Post article says, “The operators awarded licenses to run any of the three New York City-area casinos will have to pay the state at least a $500 million fee for the chance at rolling the dice, according to new rules approved by a state siting board. The category of ‘economic activity and business development factors’ will account for 70% of the score of the proposals. Workforce development and diversity will account for a combined 20% of the overall score and local siting issues that include mitigating impacts on surrounding neighborhoods accounts for the remaining 10%.” There’s no mention if “diversity” regarding casino workers means criminally proficient. 

Because of the financial crisis the Democrats created with their lockdowns, mandates, and anti-law and order policies, the tax base has fled in record numbers. New York City, a sanctuary city, now needs to line the coffers in order to fund woke initiatives and provide care for the illegals it welcomes. Mayor Adams has already asked for an additional $1 billion dollars from the federal government to pay for illegals. He says, “This is an expensive endeavor that we are in and we have to find ways of carrying out this task without bankrupting the city,” as per a NY Post article. 

Here’s where things get interesting. 

Democrats won’t commit to law and order, so they turn to convicts, positing the city will take in over $1.3 billion dollars in revenue. 

It’s a fantasy; even at a 10% tax, they’ll have to do $13 billion in actual sales. It’s a big gamble to depend on a convict free from surveillance to report income to the IRS. Alas, convicts have largely been immunized from criminal prosecution. 

The amazing story here is: the Democrats could have led an economic recovery without getting people hooked on drugs or turning Manhattan into Atlantic City.  Loosening gratuitous red tape that suffocates traditional businesses, disassembling homeless encampments, and improving the education complex would have been the ticket. But, this doesn’t align with Democrat ideology. Instead, two ways to leech the taxpayers that haven’t yet managed to escape to Florida have been unearthed. Drugs and gambling work in concert to “reimagine” New York City. 

Crime is up 31% year to date in The Big Apple. The Democrats have an idea; to destigmatize criminals (circle back to the top and see how Mayor Adams is giving convicts preferential treatment to get weed licenses). This comes just in time for the plan to open casinos. 

As per, “Where there is money, there are bound to be crooks…What better breeding ground for crime than Atlantic City or Las Vegas, where the casino is king, and there’s copious cash?” There is a connection between gambling and crime, according to the FBI’s arrest data. “When considering crime in the top five gambling cities, one point is unmistakable: Atlantic City is no picnic with its No. 1 spot for overall crime per 100k and the same ranking for both robbery and assault. 

Here is when those that love New York City must hope that Mayor Adams is right, that the illegals will bankrupt the five boroughs. Then, the Democrats will be faced with two options. One, they will reject illegals and cut funding for useless woke initiatives. Two, that they do what Adams proposed and “cut basic services,” like NYPD, which will infuriate voters. We almost elected a Republican governor. The Mayoral election is up next. Bankrupting the city might be Adams’ legacy. 


Image: Title: casino