"It's time we confronted reality--" those are words from Governor Cuomo's 'State of the State' address. He says our state is surrounded by casinos at virtually every border and because of that we're losing revenue. With casinos only allowed on Indian Reservations, Cuomo believes it's time to legalize it across the state.
Governor Cuomo says an estimated one billion dollars in economic activity could be generated from gaming in New York State. Not only that, but it could provide job opportunities. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney both say that it's something worth looking into, but they need more information. "We have casino gaming what we have now is illegal casino gaming mostly, we're not regulating it, we're not gaining anything from it," says Tenney, "and we're the only state in the nation that doesn't collect from our casino gaming at least at Turning Stone."
"The earliest you can see legalized gambling is 2014 so it's not something that's going to revitalize the economy right away. But I'm certainly interested to learn more about his proposal," says Brindisi, "Where is he proposing these casinos, is it upstate, downstate?
Brindisi says until these questions are answered, it's hard to tell how it could affect our area. Both officials say we need to look at the rest of the country, and how gaming affects their economy. "New Jersey, Nevada, two states that have legalized gambling had very large budget deficits in 2012," says Brindisi.
"In the long-term casino gaming is not the answer to our woes--Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and many casinos around the world," says Tenney, "are in virtual bankruptcy."
But people eyewitness news spoke with say it could be a positive step for the state.
"I think it's good thing people are going up to the turning stone they're gambling on a regular basis," says New Hartford resident Bruce Elderkin.
"Anything that's going to bring more revenue, more profit into the state is a good thing," says Utica resident Andrew Zogby.