For the last several weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pushing the idea of bringing casino gambling to New York State. In his annual State of the State address yesterday, the governor suggested that New York could see $1 billion in revenue.
In an interview with The Daily News last month, Mr. Cuomo laid out the possibilities of where the casino would be located.
“New York City is a real location,” he said. “Albany is a real location. Buffalo is a real location.”
But the possibility of casino gambling and actual brick and mortar casinos are very different things, and if the first comes with promise of more money for the state, the second comes with the promise of greater congestion and architectural eyesores on the skyline.
So, we asked each of the borough presidents today if they would be willing to host the new Cuomo Casino in their home boroughs.
In response, we got two enthusiastic Yeses, a definitive No, and a probably No and a No Comment.
Almost before Mr. Cuomo delivered his speech yesterday, Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz was already clamoring for the casino and had scouted out locations.
In a statement, he commended Mr. Cuomo’s “support for a constitutional amendment allowing casino gambling, which would bring jobs and revenue to potential locations in New York City, especially Coney Island, which is a natural.”
If a casino is likely to be built anywhere in the five boroughs, it is likely to be built in Queens, where the Aqueduct Racino–a “virtual casino”–is already up and running, and where Gov. Cuomo would like to build a new convention center (and what better way to lure conventioneers than with a little blackjack?)
“Our feeling is that the community is cautiously optimistic,” said Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Queens BP Helen Marshall. “Obviously there are going to be many concerns–traffic and parking to begin with, how it fits into our communities.”
But, he added, “This is something the borough president feels has momentum.”
This feeling was not shared by Bronx BP Ruben Diaz, who described a casino in his borough as something akin to an insult.
“It would be socially irresponsible to place in a borough that has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation a casino to suck money out of the pockets of low-income people,” said spokesman John De Sio.
Scott Stringer meanwhile leaned against a casino in Manhattan.
“We have not seen any specific proposals,” said spokeswoman Audrey Gelman. “But we would certainly have concerns about how a casino would fit in with the economic landscape and distinct neighborhoods of the borough.”
Staten Island BP James Molinaro’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Follow David Freedlander via RSS.