The referendum over an expansion of casino gambling in New York state has been completed, with 57% of the population backing the scheme to build up to 7 new casinos in up-state New York. The move comes as neighboring state, New Jersey, is just about to take advantage of the new American gambling laws legalizing online casinos.
In fact, any New York casinos could take business away from Atlantic City, further pushing the beleaguered city into more financial difficulties, despite the upcoming launch of the first online casinos in America. New Jersey lawmakers will take some solace with the news New York City residents are against a casino in the metropolitan area, however.
The referendum does specify only 4 casinos can be built immediately, with another 3 coming later. The four casinos will also be limited to up-state areas, specifically in Albany, Catskills-Hudson Valley, and part of the Southern Tier. With online and mobile casinos limited to players from within state borders, this is seen as a good economic move for New York.
Indeed, Governor Andrew Cuomo, a strong proponent of the casino project, explained: “We literally hemorrhage people from the borders who go to casinos.”
Continuing, he said: “I think it will keep the money in this state, and I think it’s a major economic development vehicle for the Hudson Valley especially and for upstate New York.”
Interestingly, in polls taken prior to the referendum, New York City residents were expected to vote heavily in favor of the movement, despite the majority explaining they would not visit the casinos themselves. Indeed, it seems as if these casinos are being built more to satisfy economic criteria rather than as entertainment centers.
Whether or not this move comes too late to stop neighboring states taking advantage remains to be seen, but the US laws that require online casinos to accept members from within their borders alone does give them an advantage.