Following a Siena poll showing New Yorkers overwhelmingly favor casinos “similar to those in Atlantic City and Las Vegas,” state Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) continued his push to support full casino gaming at Resorts World New York, which will open later this year at Aqueduct Racetrack.
According to the poll, 57 percent of New Yorkers support a constitutional amendment to allow table games at non-Indian reservation casinos.
“Majorities of Democrats and Republicans, and of residents of every region of the state, support allowing Vegas-style casinos to be built here in New York,” said Don Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute.
The poll showed that a vast majority of residents believe these casinos will create thousands of jobs (78 percent) and bring in significant new revenues for state and local governments (71 percent).
Residents are aware of the dangers of gaming, with 54 percent of people agreeing casinos would increase societal problems like crime and compulsive gambling. But at the end of the day, New Yorkers favor building the casinos.
“While there is a concern about crime and compulsive gambling, the need for jobs and government revenues appears to far outweigh the downsides according to most New Yorkers and voters,” Levy said.
Responding to the poll, Addabbo said the state government should work quickly to pass the constitutional amendment.
“Rather than see the money keep going to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos upstate, in this stagnant economy I believe we must start the process, including public input, for the expansion of VLT racinos into full casino gaming to increase our revenues and to boost education initiatives,” Addabbo said.
Resorts World New York has continued to state it would welcome an expansion to table games, but the company is focused on completing construction of the racino.
To pass a constitutional amendment, two consecutive legislative sessions must pass the amendment before it is voted on in a public referendum.
By Eric Yun