During his epic, lengthy interview with radio host and newspaper columnist Fred Dicker today, Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed the future of casino gambling in New York. Due to the harsh economic climate, Governor Cuomo believes legislators are ready to vote for a constitutional amendment ending the state’s ban on gaming.
“All the conversations have been productive and the suggestion is that the legislators understand that this may be necessary at this time from an economic development point of view,” Governor Cuomo said. “In a perfect world, would there be gaming anywhere? Maybe not, but this is not a perfect world and we’re in competition, so all the signs have been positive, but you know, we’ll see next year.”Governor Cuomo said he thinks an amendment could be passed within the next twelve months.
“My thought for this year would be, let’s do our homework, and let’s talk about it, and let’s start to work on it, and let’s put together intelligent committees and do a real study for this year,” Governor Cuomo said.
Though he wants to spend time researching the issue, Governor Cuomo believes casino gambling could be legal before the end of his first term. Passing an amendment requires the support of two consecutive legislatures and a public referendum. Governor Cuomo said lawmakers wouldn’t have to get bogged down in specifics such as the number and type of casinos that would be allowed.
“You’re going to have two years, so you could amend the constitution with language without getitng into what regions, and where and what color are the walls,” Governor Cuomo said. “Defined details here require a lot of thought and a lot of work, so I could see a scenario where you just amend the constitution and we have two years, frankly, to put a system together.”
Recent polls show a majority of New York voters support legalizing commercial casino gambling in New York.