Beware! N.Y. pols could stop clock!

Oct 30, 2001 8:10 AM

A NOTE WORTH SHARING! It comes from a New Yorker who knows of what he speaks. I lived there for many years.

“Anyone who’s been around the block knows for sure if you want to screw things up, let the government get involved in a project.

“The love of money is a great attraction. Casinos mean money. And, don’t be surprised to learn there’s a move underway in the Empire State to change the state constitution and let the state have its own casinos.”

The source continued: “Amendments to legalize non-Indian casinos in several areas of the state are in the making.

“Recently, it was learned that the Seneca tribe’s slot machines netted almost $2 million in their first 100 days. With that kind of money on the table, I’d say the Seneca Nation is in trouble. I’m not necessarily a fan of the Indians; I don’t know anything about them. But, what I do know is that if anyone can stop an eight-day clock, the politicians in New York are a favorite to do so.”

NEW GOLD RUSH! The Gold Rush of 1849 will play second fiddle to the new one that is warming up in New York State. Now that Gov. George Pataki and the state legislature have paved the way for a historic expansion of gambling in the Empire State, entrepreneurial Indian tribes, investors and developers are rallying around the flagpole to create casinos. They’re not alone. Businesses in areas where gambling might expand eagerly await growth. So do manufacturers of video games and slot machines. They see major opportunities.

If the legislature okays it, they can soon sell equipment to the up-to-six casinos and the eight racinos at horse tracks and high-stakes bingo halls.

“They say it’s all in the name of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. If it happens, the Catskills and Western New York areas will offer stiff competition to Nevada casinos,” a pipe said.

More: “Good or bad?

“When it comes to casinos, I’m not too sure that more is better than less, especially if the state is going to run them.”

HERE’S TO YOU, FREDDIE! Freddie Glusman, a man dedicated to satisfying your dining needs, will be honored as Man of the Year at a Black Tie dinner at Beth Shalom on Sunday, Dec. 2. There will be cocktails, dinner, a silent auction and — here’s the best part — a roast. I hope Freddie has a good sense of humor as I am certain he will be well roasted.

Among those serving on the dinner committee are Mr. and Mrs. Tom Letizia. Former Mayor Jan Laverty Jones is the honorary dinner chairman.

I’D RATHER DIE! Is that the message being sent by the governing Fathers at Saratoga Springs? They have a clear shot at $50 million, which is expected to flow from video lottery terminals. Purists seek to block the one-armed bandits at Saratoga Harness. It could increase daily purses to $75,000 from $20,000. Attendance could jump from 600 a day to 3,000.

It’s like hearing that a sick man won’t take his medicine, not even with a spoonful of sugar.

What’s wrong with so many track owners? Their game was once the king. Not any more. And, the sooner they realize it, the better off they’ll be.

Nothing, dammit, stays the same! We don’t like change. Who does? But, like it or not, it happens. And, the appeal of VLTs seems to far outweigh days gone by when waiting 30 minutes for the next race to come up fit our lifestyle. Not anymore!

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS! The Daily Racing Form, bible of most horse race bettors, didn’t do their readers any favors on Saturday by running the top picks for 33 of its handicappers. Led by publisher Steve Crist, five of the group went 0-for-8, while 16 were able to select only one winner. Best of the lot was the English writer, Alan Shuback, who stuck with the European horses and ended up with four winners in eight tries.

AND, TURNING TO FOOTBALL! Gerry Strine, a football writer for the Boston Globe, notes that the NFL is upset by the former players who have begun touting gambling services, even though some are listed on the N.Y. Stock Exchange. “If it’s betting on the NFL contests, it’s gambling. If it’s touting a stock by a broker, it’s capitalism,” Strine wrote.

By the way, anyone following Strine’s football picks lately must be running to his neighborhood loan shark for a little help. Last week, Strine says, five of his picks lost. “It happens. But not two weeks in a row, hopefully.”

THEY’LL BE BACK THIS WEEK! “Don’t read anything into the fact that a section of the anti-money-laundering bill dealing with Internet gambling was deleted last week,” said a Washington, D.C. pipe. “The Bush Administration didn’t want any complications to its money-laundering law that will assist the Feds in chasing down money being used by terrorists.

“Now that it is out of the way, the House advocates such as (Rep. James) Leach, (Rep. Frank) Wolf and (Rep. John) LaFalce are ready to mark up their own bill to prohibit unlawful Internet gambling businesses to use such things as credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfers when dealing with gambling customers.

“Even though there’s a lot of pressure from credit card companies in opposition, the bill is given a better shot now that it has carved out protection for such things as fantasy sports leagues, educational games and certain legal securities,” he said.