News Coverage on Casino Gambling

Times Union

Cuomo’s sudden turn on gaming interests

James M Odato
Monday, June 4, 2012


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has abruptly broken off his relationship with Genting on a proposed convention center in Queens and is now calling the racino structure in New York that Genting is a part of “a scandal.”

After touting Genting and its plan for a $4 billion convention center at the state’s Aqueduct track for months, the governor is now saying he isn’t comfortable with Genting’s demands in private talks. He has said in the past that he would not reveal private negotiations, but on Monday he told reporters that Genting has wanted protections for its video lottery terminal operation at Aqueduct that were unacceptable —such as some sort of exclusivity in the potential era of legalized casinos.

Cuomo also said he doesn’t like the New York Gaming Association’s pitch that only the state’s nine racinos should be eligible for casinos if the governor is successful in his push to change the state Constitution to allow for Las Vegas-like card and dice palaces. The amendment calls for up to seven casinos that would be more than VLT parlors now allowed at nine racetracks,w such as Genting’s Resorts World at Aqueduct.

“The current racino situation in this state is a scandal,” Cuomo said. He said he wants no part of deciding future gambling developments and suggests that a commission be set up to evaluate projects if casinos are allowed.

His call for an arm’s-length relationship with what he says is an excited horde of international gambling operators suggests he wants to get politics out of casino expansion.

“I want to have a full, open competition,” Cuomo said. “Don’t have the politicians handling selection.”



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