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Cuomo Moves to Bring Casinos to New York
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On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made an agreement with state lawmakers to permit luxury casinos in New York, to breathe life into a sagging economy. The agreement would allow public and non-Native American casino gambling.

The nine racetrack casinos in New York currently employ about 5,000 people and generated about $1.8 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2012 with more than $823 million paid in taxes to the state.

New York currently (until the state constitution is suitably amended according to the agreement) allows table gambling on Native American tribal land or slot machine gambling at horse race courses.

  
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Four resort-style casinos are planned to open initially in the Albany region, the Binghamton area, and the Hudson valley.

Cuomo said in a statement, “Today’s agreement with the legislature would establish world-class destination gaming resorts to attract tourists to upstate New York.” He praised the legislation and observed it was “a major step forward … to capitalize on this economic development and tourism potential and end the trend of letting neighboring states with legalized gaming take revenue that should be going to our schools.”

Currently, many New Yorkers who visit New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut may prefer gambling within the state.

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The deal would still have to pass through both legislatures and then voters would need to approve the constitutional amendment legalizing casino gambling.

The bill also includes a proposal for a video slot machine center in the Long Island area with about 2,000 machines.



However, the effort is seen as belated compared to New Jersey’s development of gambling in Atlantic City and the recent approval of online gambling which would allow big operators like MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp to launch internet gambling in that state.

Cuomo’s effort follows his promises to boost New York economy last year, and a recent federal report that shows New York state economy grew at a much slower pace in 2012 compared to national growth rates.



 

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