New York ponders commercial casinos

andrew cuomoWe’ve been talking on the tablog about how quick state governments across the United States have turned to the gambling industry to subsidize their budgets. With the poor economy, we’re seeing states that had previously never so much as whispered the word “commercial casino,” sing a different tune.

As it stands now, the state of New York is considering adding Non-Indian run commercial casinos as part of a comprehensive gambling plan according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

New York had previously shied away from bringing in Atlantic City and Las Vegas style casinos but it seems their singing a different tune after the state spent three years cutting spending on health care, education and most other areas to fend off deficits.

When questioned about commercial casinos Gov Cuomo said, “It’s a topic we are looking at actively.”

It’s a perfect time to consider it, while the religious extremist are still ruffled over the whole gay marriage issue.

This isn’t the first time the state turned to gambling in times of a budget deficit. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks that plunged New York into then-record deficits the state added Indian-operated casinos under the federal Indian gaming act and electronic slot machines at many horse racing tracks. But Cuomo isn’t talking about a quick fix, he’s talking about gambling expansion.

The problem in New York as far as full fledged gambling expansion is concerned with is the state’s constitution, which restricts traditional slot machines and other casino games. But Cuomo seems poised to look for way around it.

“The gaming issue is an issue this state has to come to grips with,” Cuomo said.- Seattle Pi

“Well, we have gaming in the state,” he said. “So now you have to go the second step: If there is going to be gaming how do you do it. That question is something we are presently looking at.”- Seattle Pi

Naturally, Cuomo’s sentiments were well received by casino operators.

“Resorts World New York fully supports creating thousands of new jobs across the state by giving consumers more choices and look forward to working with those in Albany who want to do the same,” said Stefan Freidman, spokesman for the casino developer- Seattle Pi

But as always, where gambling expansion pleases one interest, it competes with another. Oneida Nation, operator of the Turning Stone spokesman Mark Emery responded:

The state can pursue a lengthy constitutional amendment, “or it can bring gaming to the state promptly and assuredly under already-existing laws by working closely with its in-state Indian nations to enjoy immediate revenue sharing which would benefit the entire state,” –

The tricky part will be drafting legislation to get a gambling expansion bill passed, that’s when the critics and opponents rise up and that’s when conflicting interests start jostling for a stake.