Former gambling addict speaks out against Proposition 1

Recovering compulsive gambler and current addictive gambling counselor Joyce Barrett said she is voting against Proposition 1 at the polls on Tuesday.

The legislation would allow seven full-scale casinos to come into New York State. Barrett said people need to better understand compulsive gambling before deciding on Proposition 1.

"They compare the rush of gambling to that of crack cocaine," Barrett explained. "It's the same high."

"It's just a very, very serious addiction that nobody likes to look at seriously because we're not injecting anything," said Barrett.

Barrett said more casinos will enable existing compulsive gamblers and create new ones. "Turning Stone, when that opened up...It made it easier for the casino gamblers to go to that casino because they didn't have to go to Vegas or Atlantic City anymore."

Those in favor of the legislation, including Governor Cuomo, argue the casinos would create jobs, increase aid to schools and lower property taxes.

"New Yorkers are spending over a billion dollars in other states," said State Senator David Valesky. "So it's Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Canada that are reaping the benefits of New York State dollars. So why would we not want to do everything that we can to make sure that those dollars are spent here in New York State to create jobs, to provide property tax relief and to support our schools."

Proposition 1 will come to a vote on Election Day.

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