Politicos Talk Casino Gambling in NY

Oct 30, 2013

A New York congressman and his potential opponent have weighed in on whether to allow casino gambling in the state. A U.S. Senator chimes in as well.

On Tuesday, New Yorkers will vote on a ballot proposition about whether to allow up to seven gambling casinos upstate. If voters give the go-ahead a few casinos could be built in the Catskills, in regions represented by Republican Congressman Chris Gibson.

Democrat Sean Eldridge, who in September formally announced a campaign for the nomination to run against Gibson in 2014, is also supportive, but with caveats.

New York Jobs Now has been holding press conferences around the state urging voters to support casino gambling. New York Jobs Now is a coalition of business leaders, labor unions, economic development professionals, and others. One such pro-casino press conference was held in Ulster County, where Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson expressed their support for the ballot proposition.

Gibson’s 19th congressional district includes all or portions of counties where casinos could be developed, including Sullivan and Ulster. He says supporting a constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling in New York would help keep dollars from being spent on gambling in other states.

U.S. Senator from New York Charles Schumer, like Eldridge, says a local community’s opinion matters.

Meanwhile, some Hudson Valley opponents say the ills of casino gambling are not being publicized. Also, the New York State Chairman of the Conservative Party opposes casino gambling. Michael Long says he seldom agrees with The New York Times, but does agree with the paper’s editorial that urged New Yorkers to reject the proposed constitutional amendment to expand casinos in New York.