Interests representing racing, real estate, and casino industries opened their wallets wide open to pay for lobbyists and campaign donations during a final frenzy when New York officials approved casino expansion plans.
Legislation legalizing commercial casino gambling in New York was introduced June 19 at the state Capitol. The legislation, expected to be voted on soon, would need approval by voters in a statewide referendum this fall.
Three large areas of upstate New York are now out of the running for commercial casino development after Gov. Andrew Cuomo struck a deal with the Seneca Nation of Indians to resolve a four-year-old dispute with the state.
New York officials are all but certain to put off final negotiations on a play to add up to seven casinos in New York until later in the legislative session.
New York's racetracks say they contributed more in various tax and revenue-sharing funding during the first six months of the year than the casinos on the Las Vegas strip and Atlantic City combined.
State legislators have tentatively agreed to create a New York Gaming Commission to oversee all aspects of gambling in New York, including horse racing, lotteries and Indian-run and racetrack-based casinos.
In response to proposals for expansion of casino gambling beyond the existing facilities at racetracks, representatives of the state's racing and agricultural industries have joined forces.
Genting New York officials, after turning over $380 million in licensing fee payments to the state, said they are prepared to quickly start construction on the Aqueduct casino project.
The governor of New York suggested Aug. 26 there are no guarantees a decision will be made soon in the selection of a developer for the long-stalled Aqueduct casino project.
A New York state government panel said Belmont Park can support a sprawling casino, hotel, retail, and housing development to bring jobs and money to the state.
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