The backrooms in Albany are abuzz this morning. A big change coming our way could be the construction of up to seven Vegas-style casinos in New York state. This from the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos raced toward agreement on the governor's priorities.
Silver predicted that New York will soon have as many as seven new casinos under a constitutional amendment that must be approved this year and next year by the Legislature.
"All it's going to have is a maximum of seven," Silver said. "We'll deal with where, when and how next year."
Cuomo and Silver, however, oppose having a casino in Manhattan.
Cuomo wanted to expand casinos off Indian reservations as an economic development tool.
Depending on their location, this could have a huge impact on the Akwesasne-Mohawk community, which relies on the casino in Franklin County as a major revenue stream.
This will require amending the state Constitution, so it's hardly a done deal, but Jim Odato reports in the Albany Times-Union that New York is poised to become of the nation's big gambling states.
If seven new casinos were allowed, New York would have more gambling halls than many states. The total would include five existing Indian casinos — three run by the Seneca tribe in Western New York, a Mohawk casino along the Canadian border and the Oneida Nation’s Turning Stone facility in Verona — plus nine racinos at horse tracks in New York including the one at Saratoga harness facility where Division of the Lottery slot terminals are installed.
What do you think? Is gambling the future for New York — a great new source of revenue? Is it time that the state compete with neighbors, including Canada, that have already embraced the casino culture? Should we have one in the Adirondacks?
Or is gambling an ugly social ill?
And what about the impact on the Akwesasne community? Your comments welcome.