Proposed NY Casino Expansion Gets Enough YES Votes in State Referendum

New York Gambling LegislationLast November 05, more than half of the active registered voters who turned up at 62 county precincts in New York, voted YES to the legislative proposal of allowing the addition of up to seven casinos in upstate New York; except in areas where there are tribal-run gambling parlors.

The referendum results denote that the state government can go forward with its pre-approved plan of accepting bids for the establishment of four gambling venues in Catskills, the Capital Region and the Southern Tier, along the borders of Pennsylvania. However, the legislation has a provision that excludes New York City and its nearby suburbs from being the subject of any casino bid within the next seven years.

In line with this development, the New York State Gaming Commission will form a panel in charge of selecting from the developers and casino operators who will tender bids and business proposals. As Governor Cuomo aims to revitalize the economy of the upstate regions, as well as recover money lost to other gambling states, permits and licenses could be awarded before year 2014 ends.

Voters in Tioga County, Chemung County, all the way to Broome and Cortland counties gave overwhelming support for the Cuomo-backed casino expansion plan. In Catskills, Sullivan County had the highest percentage of YES voters, at 76 percent, while the voting results in Long Island showed a 2 to 1 margin in favor of the gambling amendment bill. The strongest rejection came from Madison County and in Onondaga County, to which 55 percent and 52 percent voted NO respectively.