Tapping into his state’s love of gambling, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is betting that he can help fill state coffers by proposing a ginormous expansion of the Quick Draw Lottery game. Right now only 21-year-olds can play it in locations where liquor is sold, but Cuomo wants to extend that privilege to the over 18 crowd as well as set it up in 780 new locations.
The reasoning behind Cuomo’s proposal for the state budget isn’t too tricky to figure out — the game already brings in around $500 million in sales, reports the New York Daily News, and adding these new locations could result in up to $25 million in cash. New York needs you to gamble, basically.
Of course, encouraging gambling is a touchy proposition, as addiction to gambling is a very real issue for many people. Critics aren’t so sure that pushing the game is a great idea, as it could exacerbate an already troubling phenomenon of gambling too much, too often.
“Anytime you have expansion and more availability, you are going to have more problems,” the executive director of the state Council on Problem Gaming tells the NYDN.
Quick Draw is often called “video crack,” as it offers up instant gratification or immediate disappointment every four minutes. Players simply choose up to 10 numbers from a screen of 80 and then if your numbers match the 20 the computer picks, you win. If you don’t, you lose.
Right now the game is limited to places like bars, restaurants and bowling alleys as a result of restrictions placed on it by lawmakers in 1995.
But if Cuomo gets his way, the game could come to any store that sells lottery tickets and have a whole new, younger audience ripe for the picking.