During his State of the State Address, the governor put forward a constitutional amendment, which could change American gambling laws and open casino opportunities to non-Indians. This is only one of many suggestions introduced to amend the state constitution and expand gambling opportunities beyond tribal facilities.
His proposals require approval of two consecutive legislatures and a majority referendum vote by the public. Previously, none of similar plans have ever passed a second round in the Legislature, subsequently the public has never had an opportunity to vote on the amendment and none of the gambling bills introduced before the Senate and Assembly have been acted on.
In case the proposals do get through the Legislature this time around, Cuomo says that casino gambling could have a “significant potential to be a major economic engine for New York state.” Currently the state does not fully govern and regulate existing casino offerings, but Cuomo says “the reality is that we already have gaming throughout the state”.
United States gambling news counted five tribal casinos and nine racinos in New York. The state has over 29,000 slots (more than Atlantic City). Cuomo went on to add: “New York state is surrounded by gambling. States and Canadian provinces just across our borders have legalized casino gambling. Our competitor states and provinces get the tourism, revenue and good jobs that belong here.”
The governor estimates that over $1 billion of economic activity would be generated from commercialized casino gambling if introduced. Industry skeptics say that bills to amend the constitution haven’t been passed in the last four decades, so why should current proposals be any different?
If the new bills do get by the Legislature this term, and all the remaining requirements of a constitutional amendment are also successful, the change would still not be in place until 2014, which provides the neighboring states with plenty of time to adapt and come out on top.