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Placing bets in Sullivan County
August 1 marked the first game of the preseason for the National Football League. For many, this marks the renewal of an annual ritual that brings friends and families together to socialize and watch on television or attend live a professional sport woven into the fabric of the lives of millions. For others, the first of August signaled the opportunity to place bets on football.
Our legislators in Albany have approved sports betting for the four casinos in New York State, including Resorts World International in Sullivan County, and the United States Supreme Court cleared the way for sports wagering in 2018. Currently, in New York State, a person can only place a sports bet in person. Wagering from your phone or computer is not permitted. So why—unlike the state of New Jersey and a competing casino further upstate in Schenectady—are we not up and running with sports betting at Resorts World right here in Sullivan County? Especially now, during the height of the “summer season.”
The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans bet $154 billion on sports in 2016, nearly all of it thorough illegal channels like personal bookies and offshore websites. Based on per-capita rates of betting, it’s estimated that New York State residents bet approximately $9.4 billion on sports in 2016. We have all read recently about the financial woes of Resorts World. If I was your Sullivan County legislator, right now, I would be investigating why professional football enthusiasts can’t place a bet in Sullivan County? Why do they have to drive to Schenectady?
We must maximize our opportunities here in Sullivan County by facilitating fluid and accessible sports betting.
Candidate for Sullivan County Legislator, District 1
NYSEG padding its bottom line
I’m writing to comment on NYSEG’s proposed 23.7% increase. This request flies in the face of common scene. NYSEG has for countless years neglected Western Sullivan County with delivery lines that date back to the 1930s, some of the oldest lines in the state. There has been no attempt on the part of NYSEG to update this since that time. There has been a complete failure of NYSEG to maintain lines and right-of-ways, allowing trees to overgrow areas and damage lines, resulting in numerous and prolonged outages.
Over the years, NYSEG has cut staffing to the point where response times to outages are measured in days, not hours. During major outages in the winter/spring of 2018, we lost power for eight days and then again for six days. Companies were called in from Canada but sat for days, not knowing the area and without the correct maps or instructions from NYSEG.
NYSEG seems to have a business model that cuts service and maintenance to “as needed” and “only in emergencies” for repairs. This increase has, in my mind, nothing to do with rebuilding the infrastructure and everything to do with padding its bottom line or recouping for losses, losses caused by their own neglect.
Charles W. Hoffman, M.Ed.