When it comes to legalization of gambling, nobody seems to talk about video games or arcade-type games. Yet, there is a similarity to be observed. If the house percentage for slot machines and video lottery terminals or VLTs (often ranging from 85% to 95%) is reduced to 100%, the play on a slot machine would be less costly for most players than an equal amount of time playing a 50-cent or $1 arcade-type game in a video arcade. The real evil of gambling is the percentage taken by the house or State. This take or percentage prevents the vast majority of gamblers from winning or breaking even, and results in severe losses for persons who gamble too much. Do you say the same thing about a person who plays video games at home or looks at television too many hours or plays video games in an arcade setting and throws away money in the process? Probably not, because there is no gambling involved. You don't really care about the "addiction" to video games, television, drinking or smoking, or going to too many movies, what you are really concerned about is the avoidable costs or losses and unnecessary diversion of perfectly good money to the owners of the casino. The way of stopping this would be to have slots set at 100% and to require the disclosure of the slot odds by a sign placed on each machine. Many people who play slot machines enjoy their slot play time as other people enjoy playing bridge, or watching movies, or playing video or arcade-type games, and would be perfectly happy playing slot machines in their own town or own home or business (without having to travel to a distant casino to play the forbidden machines - you should know that it is illegal in New York State for any voter to own or possess a slot machine made less than 30 years ago) even (or especially) if they could not lose any money playing them. Slot machines or VLTs set at 100% payback (or set for non-gambling use) would provide the desired slot-machine action without any cost, thereby curing the so-called addiction issue. Slots would be less costly than arcade-type games, or going to the movies too often. T that afforded
As to getting slot owners to set their machines at 100% payback. This is easy. Just permit hotels, restaurants and bars to install slots and you'll find that some (perhaps many) of them will set their slots at 100% or even 101% or 102% and advertise the hell out of their "FULL PAY" or "100% PAYBACK" slots, for the purpose of using slots to build their non-gambling business. In this way, by legalizing gambling the persons who like to play slot machines would have a way to do it, at no cost on the average, similar to playing video games at home or arcade-type video games in a commercial arcade.
To require casino operators to post the odds on machines is really not as difficult as it may seem. Instead of requiring legislation, I, as NYS Attorney General, believe that I would have the power to require full disclosure of the true odds on each slot machine and at other gambling devices (including VLTs) under one or more sections of the New York General Business Law prohibiting consumer fraud. The casinos would have to go into court to see if my action was legal under New York law. If it is legal, then no statute is required to accomplish full disclosure. After all, if we require full disclosure for a person to lose his/her money in the stock market, why not require the same thing as to gambling? Let the public know the true odds. This would have an immediate effect of requiring casinos to increase their slot machine odds, and to figure out some other way to have their patrons part with their hard-earned money.