From the Queens Chronicle:
Gov. Cuomo reiterated his support for full casino gaming — including table games — in New York State, but under the plan he outlined in this week’s State of the State speech, Queens residents will have to drive a good long while on the Thruway to get to roll real dice at a real craps table or sit with an actual blackjack dealer.
In his speech, Cuomo said the idea behind limiting full gaming to upstate is to boost tourism and economic development in upstate counties, while New York City already has 50 million tourists a year. Under his plan, up to three casinos would open to full gaming in upstate counties should the state Legislature and New York voters approve a constitutional amendment to allow table games.
“I believe casinos in upstate New York could be a great magnet to bring the New York City traffic up,” he said. “They now go to New Jersey, they go to Connecticut — why don’t we bring them to upstate New York?”
The plan was unveiled as piece of a larger part of the governor’s agenda that focused on economic development upstate, including promoting New York agriculture and farming and opening the Adirondacks to a national whitewater rafting competition.
But legislators who represent the communities near Resorts World Casino New York City — the only casino in the five boroughs — said the plan to not allow full casino gambling at Aqueduct Racetrack will prevent much-needed jobs and tourism from coming to Queens.
From the NY Times:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said Thursday that he was open to a Las Vegas-style casino in some parts of New York City, as he continued to soften his opposition to the idea of casino development within the five boroughs.
Mr. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, said he remained opposed to a casino with table games in Manhattan, but would be open to the idea in other areas of the city, specifically naming Coney Island and Willets Point, as well as the Aqueduct racetrack — sites that he has reportedly been considering for some time.
He also said Thursday that the Legislature wanted to have a say in the siting of any full-scale casinos, challenging a plan by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to put the power in the hands of a new gambling commission.
“The Legislature would like to have a role in geographic selection,” he said in comments outside his Albany office.
Mr. Silver has historically been the biggest opponent of casino gambling in New York City, and has been reluctant to consider casino development even on the city’s fringes. But his tone has been moderating over the last several months.