BY LUIS GRONDA
In a deal that was reached just before the midnight deadline on Tuesday evening, Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators agreed to bring full-gaming casinos to New York State, but the City will have to wait.
The deal allows for four casinos to be built in three different regions in upstate New York as a way to boost jobs and the economy. There can be no gaming resorts authorized in NYC, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland Counties and there will be a 7-year period during which no other gaming resorts can be licensed by New York State.
“This legislation is a major step forward in our efforts to both capitalize on this economic development and tourism potential and end the trend of letting neighboring states with legalized gaming take revenue that should be going to our schools,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
According to the Governor’s office, the state gaming commission will oversee the regulation of these gaming resorts and they will appoint a board with expertise in finance and development of these resorts.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who has called on the Governor to include the City in his casino plans because of Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park, said in the past that Resorts World would be able to quickly accommodate table gaming and it would boost the Borough’s economy overall.
Addabbo reserved comment on the bill until something official was given to him.
“I want to see it in writing and on my desk first,” he said. “In Albany, a handshake deal means nothing and that’s the unfortunate truth.”
The State Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week.
Addabbo said that he hopes to see the bill as soon as possible so that he has time read the entire agreement before voting on it. The bill would also need to be approved from the public during the November elections.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.