Addabbo Statement on Polls of New Yorkers Who Support Amending NYS Constitution to Allow Casino Gambling

Joseph P. Addabbo Jr

October 04, 2011

Queens, NY, October 3, 2011 NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) intends to work towards beginning the process of legalizing full casino gaming at Resorts World in Queens, ‘similar to those in Atlantic City and Las Vegas’ following the release of a recent Quinnipiac University poll of New Yorkers who support full casino gaming:  56 percent vs. 37 percent of NYS and NYC voters overall support casinos; 58 percent vs. 36 percent in the suburbs, and 54 percent vs. 37 percent upstate. A more recent Siena College poll found that 57 percent of New Yorkers surveyed would allow non-Indian-run casinos to be built around the state, compared with 36 percent opposed. All groups support casinos, with the strongest support, 61-32 percent, among voters with a union member in the household.

Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and most recently, Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, have all indicated their support as well. "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 stated.  The Senator is working with the operators of Resorts World, the racino at Aqueduct, to ensure a partnership that benefits the surrounding communities exists for many years. There are even programs in place in order to work with those in the community who believe they have a gambling addiction and need assistance. “There is much more to offer at Resorts World than just gambling,” Addabbo added. “People can go there to enjoy the restaurants, live entertainment, food court, buffet, and eventually, other amenities.” 

The Senator wants to initiate the discussion in Albany to advance the New York State Constitutional change to allow full gaming. That process requires the measure to be voted on by the State Legislature and once it is passed in two consecutive sessions, it is followed by a vote by the public in a referendum.  “The smart bets are that voters would want to amend the NYS Constitution and 'let the games begin' -- making it a win-win situation for the economy of our state and for our people," Addabbo concluded.

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