Pro-casino forces raised in excess of $3.5 million the last four weeks to finance television ads and mailings trying to convince New York voters to approve a large expansion of gambling facilities in the state.
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.
A casino proposal offered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will "cannibalize" as much as 85% of the state's current gambling industry, a racetrack casino association said June 11.
Unveiling further details on his casino expansion plans, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed the first three facilities be located in upstate regions and that successful developers pay an upfront $50 million franchise fee.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there is a big enough appetite for gambling in New York to permit the state to expand casino operations while protecting the interests of existing racetrack-based casinos.
The New York Gaming Association April 29 released a report that shows its nine racetrack-based casino facilities generated $1.8 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2012 and turned over $823 million in taxes to the state.
Hoping to convince state officials to give them full-blown casino rights, New York's racino operators say their financial performance continues to improve and is outpacing percentage returns of casinos in nearby states.
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.
New York's nine racetracks, which are lobbying to expand their businesses into full-fledged casinos, claim 8,200 permanent jobs would be created if they are permitted to enhance their gaming operations.
A report done for the New York Gaming Association says the organization's members -- nine racetrack casinos in the state -- generate almost $2 billion a year in economic output.
New York state officials have agreed to seek approval of a constitutional amendment to permit expansion of Las Vegas-style casino gambling on non-Indian lands.
Racetracks across New York Sept. 7 will unveil a plan to amend the state constitution to permit them to offer a complete array of casino gambling as part of a proposal they say will raise revenue for the state and industry.
The racing industry in New York expressed concerns about new, potent competition after the Obama administration reversed course on federal policy that had blocked Indian tribes from building off-reservation casinos.
New York racetrack casinos lost a major potential competitor Feb. 18 after federal officials rejected a plan for a sprawling, full-blown casino just 90 miles from Manhattan.
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