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As Cuomo spins casino benefits, lawsuit tries to block referendum
As part of its pro-gambling push, the Cuomo administration said Wednesday that casinos and video slots could generate $430 million in annual revenue for the state.
Meanwhile, a casino opponent has filed a lawsuit to try to stop next month’s referendum on whether to amend the state constitution to allow up to seven non-Indian-run casinos in New York. Eric Snyder, a Brooklyn attorney, said the politically controlled state Board of Elections exceeded its authority when it put a positive spin on the referendum language by claiming gambling would help create jobs, lower taxes and help schools.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers overwhelmingly support gambling expansion. Under a Cuomo plan that legislators approved, casino expansion would at first be limited to four upstate venues if the referendum is approved.
Long Island gets two venues to offer up to 1,000 video slot machines apiece, regardless of whether voters approve casinos. The report Wednesday by Cuomo’s budget division claimed the Island would receive about $63 million of the $430 million generated by the gambling expansion.
Also Wednesday, a judge set an Oct. 11 date to hear Snyder’s lawsuit. As part of his challenge, Snyder noted that recent polls show that New Yorkers were split when asked if they supported casinos, but favored them under the rosy language that will appear on the ballot.