Should New York allow non-Indian casinos?
Tue, 09 Aug 2011 20:58:08 GMT —
Governor Cuomo surprised many people by saying New York State might benefit from commercial non-Indian casinos as part of a larger statewide gambling plan. Cuomo said that while some politicians may try to ignore them, casinos on Indian reservations have changed how gambling is handled.
You have gaming in the state and in neighboring states. So it's really not an issue any more of if we don't officially sanction it as a government, it's not going to happen. It's happening," aid Cuomo"
The Oneida Indian Nation, who operate Turning Stone Casino, responded by saying the state could either go through a lengthy and uncertain legislative process "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."
In Syracuse the idea of more commercially run casinos across the state got a mixed reaction on Tuesday night.
"I mean they fight the taxes on the cigarettes with the state on Indian reservations - let us start reaping the benefits," said Mike Fox who was in town from Buffalo.
"They'll make money. They may have some crime but they'll make money off it," said Abraham Lewis who was visiting from Florida.
New York would join neighboring Pennsylvania and other states as governments sanctioning commercial casinos.
Joe Prino was visiting Syracuse from Pittsburgh. Prino said a city like Syracuse could benefit from a downtown casino - just as Pittsburgh has.
"It brings a lot of money to the local economy. I think it's a positive thing," said Prino.
Cuomo indicated that New York might not need an amendment to the state's constitution to allow casino gambling. Opponents, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, have argued that problem gambling and other issues that can come with casinos outweigh any potential benefits.
New York allows strictly limited commercial, electronic gambling at "racinos" such as Vernon Downs, but Cuomo would open the door to traditional casinos.
What do you think? Would the possible economic benefits of commercial gambling be worth it? Or would too much gambling just make problems for local cities and towns in Central New York?
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.