Long Island

LI Bar Is Taking Bets on Which City Will Have More Shootings Over Labor Day Weekend

The chart, underneath which it says "let the shooting sprees begin," is set up like a typical Super Bowl pool, with patrons picking the number of shootings each city will see, and winning money if they choose the right numbers

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The Cliffton, a bar in Patchogue, is receiving backlash from residents and even the mayor for taking bets on whether shootings in New York City or Chicago will be worse during Labor Day weekend. NBC New York’s Ida Siegal reports.

The battle against gun violence has plagued every city across the country, and on Labor Day in particular, New York City usually has to contend with a higher than average number of shootings.

Now a bar on Long Island is making a game out of the violence, and the struggle to quell it.

Patchogue bar The Cliffton posted their sick game on Facebook, pitting NYC against Chicago. The chart is set up like a typical Super Bowl pool, with patrons picking the number of shootings each city will see, and winning money if they choose the right numbers. Beneath the scoreboard, it says "let the shooting sprees begin!"

Mayor Paul Pontieri called the wagering "foolish at best and disgusting at its worst because it isn't what we are about." Pontieri is urging the police and state liquor authority to get involved, given that gambling at the establishment is illegal.

The New York State Liquor Authority said that the game "is not only sickening, but also appears illegal under the Alcoholic Beverage Control law." Additionally, the SLA said that The Cliffton refused to let state task force investigators in to inspect the premises earlier this week for COVID measures, "a blatant violation of the law, which alone constitutes grounds for their liquor license to be revoked."

The agency said the establishment will be charged with a violation they noted, and said they expect to contact the bar again.

The Long Island Chapter of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence has urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get involved, noting the mayors of each city were also highlighted on the game chart. Richard Azzopardi, a Senior Adviser to the Governor, called the reports "repugnant, and those responsible for this gambling pool should be ashamed."

"It's not going to be tolerated and it shouldn't be tolerated," Pontieri said.

It also isn't The Cliffton's first brush with controversy, either. In 2019, the bar posted a picture on Instagram making fun of a transgender patron. The bar was later made to apologize.

Attempts to contact the bar for comment were unsuccessful.