Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gambling in Queens, NY

Another distraction for the faithful. There are so many distractions in the modern world that entice people of good will away from God and prayer. So now right here in New York City, off the Belt Parkway in Queens, in the heart of the Diocese of Brooklyn, at Aqueduct Racetrack a "Racino" has opened. In October 1995 Pope John Paul II, during a historic visit to the United States celebrated Mass on a beautiful, sunny day at Aqueduct Raceway. I was there, along with my son. There were thousands of priests and Religious as well as 75,000 laypeople. It was a remarkable, holy event. That was then, this is now.
Hundreds of people waited on line, opening day to enter the Racino. It presently has 4,525 video slot machines and 475 electronic games and thousands more to come. Now gamblers and people just looking for some excitement will not have to go all the way to Atlantic City, Conneticut or Las Vegas, it's all very close now.
The Church is neutral on gambling. I understand that. I know many people who enjoy gambling and it adds excitement to their life. But according to anti-gambling forces, "the racino will addict millions of people to the detriment of their families...." I wonder how it will affect Church donations, in that area, if at all. Only time will tell.
Aqueduct is the first racino in New York City and probably not the last. There are a lot of tax revenues to be made from legalized gambling and many politicians are in favor of gambling for a variety of reasons.
I went to the website on and it had this to say about gambling......
"The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting or the lottery. Scripture does warn us to stay away from the love of money, attempts to get rich quick. But gambling in moderation is not necessarily evil....." Let's hope people use moderation and don't get addicted and lose control. We can only hope and pray for the best outcome, because gambling in NYC is here to stay.