The proposal to bring a casino to Coney Island should ring alarm bells throughout the entire borough of Brooklyn and beyond.
Gambling is one of the most dangerous and devastating types of addictions. Far too many promising men and women, including some from our own community, have been sucked into the cruel trap of casino gambling.
It begins with a single moment of weakness, often with a small amount of money. It soon turns into a vicious cycle of losing large sums of money, then squandering even larger sums in a frantic and woefully misguided attempt to win it back. Those addicted spend every penny they own, and then borrow huge sums of money from banks, relatives, friends, and — in growing desperation — less-savory sources such as loan sharks. This monstrous affliction has destroyed countless marriages, doomed once-promising careers, and turned prosperous merchants into homeless paupers.
The organized effort to stop the proposal, led by the Sephardic Community Federation and leading local politicians, correctly points out that in addition to the very grave dangers of gambling addiction, a casino has the very real potential to raise crime rates and endanger local residents.
We commend those who have stepped forth to fight this very dangerous plan, and urge the State legislature to reject it when it comes up for a vote.