‘Vegas-style’ casinos heading to New York?

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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According to a new Quinnipiac poll, a plan to introduce Vegas-style casinos to New York enjoys broad support from Empire State voters.

Fifty-six percent of voters now support building casinos away from Indian reservations as a way to increase revenue and create jobs. The idea, first floated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has support from a majority of voters upstate, in the suburbs and New York City.

The poll also finds that voters were more likely to support Vegas-style casinos if they have a union member in their household.

“Roll the dice, spin the wheel, hit me,” said Quinnipiac’s Maurice “Mickey” Carroll in a statement released with the poll. “Casinos would be good for the economy, voters think, but they also think there’d be an increase in gambling addiction.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, says he hopes to make his mind up by January on whether he supports non-Indian gambling. “It is a complex matter,” Cuomo said, according to the Associated Press. “It has numerous ramifications on a number of levels… at this point I’m not encouraging, I’m not dissuading” the legislature.

“At one time the question was gaming or no gaming,” he continued. “That’s not the question anymore. There will be gaming … so the question has shifted.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is similarly agnostic but says he supports a public vote. “He has talked about the potential for economic growth and jobs, but in the end it should be up to the people,” Skelos’ spokesman Scott Reif told the AP.

A spokesman for Shelly Silver, the powerful Democratic state assembly speaker who has been highly critical of gambling in the past, says that the move has not been discussed with rank-and-file Democratic politicians but that a constitutional amendment to allow resort gambling may be in play next year.

The survey included 1,016 registered voters Sept. 13-18. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.