Queens residents were some of the strongest backers of a state Constitutional amendment that allows for full casino gambling in select New York facilities, according to results from the state Board of Elections – leaving some residents to question whether that support could change Gov. Cuomo’s original plan to not bring a Las Vegas style casino to New York City for seven years.
“You can make the assumption that the people of Queens are not dissatisfied,” with casinos, Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said at her group’s meeting last week.
“There will be ramifications from this,” she continued. “That will change the conversation with elected officials.”
The amendment passed by 57 percent of residents statewide, with the state BOE recording Queens as one of the top 10 as far as the number of people who backed the proposal that paves the way for seven Las Vegas-style casinos to open in the state. The proposition faced opposition in western New York, Manhattan and around Albany.
The amendment will allow casinos to offer full gambling, as opposed to the electronic games currently permitted at places like Resorts World. The governor has pushed the amendment, saying it will give a much-needed economic boost to New York.
Queens legislators and civic leaders had expressed frustrations with Cuomo’s plan to hold off on bringing the expanded gambling to the city, with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (R-Rockaway Park) and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), as well as representatives from the Queens Chamber of Commerce, saying such a facility would give a jolt to an economy lagging after Hurricane Sandy.
By Anna Gustafson