Gov. Cuomo tips his hand on amendment for casinos

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Gov. Cuomo tipped his hand a little in SOS yesterday.  He  wants for now (1) no new casinos in NYC (2) three  “upstate,” another four in future (3) locations and scale to be decided by a Gam[bl]ing Commission he will appoint.  I thought the first-passage bill in 2012 said “as prescribed by the legislature,” which seems cut out of the deal.  If the amendment proposal goes to referendum, how much devil will be in the details?

With no new commercial full-service casinos in NYC Nassau or Suffolk, the three elsewhere would  have impact on a smaller population than that of the Metro area.  They would create fewer gambling  addicts and problem gamblers than would be generated by the same three in the Metro area. That’s good.    So situated, however, they would probably  recapture few  New York gamblers who frequent casinos in CT, PA, NJ and (future?) MA.  Wasn’t  “recapture”   the main reason for the amendment’s being proposed ?  But why worry?  Lottery brought to NYS in 2012 $9.1 billion in revenues, big increase from 2011.  With that kind of money from Lottery, who needs recapture?  That strategy may have been a feint,  the real intent having been to open the door to more casinos around the state.

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