New York strikes deal to allow Las Vegas-style casinos

The state of New York could become the next Las Vegas if Governor Andrew Cuomo gets his way over time. The first stones have been set and now New York has got the approval from lawmakers to license resort-style casinos in the state. This is yet a big attempt at reviving the economy in upstate New York where something is desperately needed to get it going. What better way to do than by building luxury resorts that’s financed by the casinos. Even though the Native American casinos have been there for years, it’s now the amendment to the constitution that will allow legalized public casinos that goes beyond the current slot machine gambling at the race tracks.

As you can well guess, this means competition to New Jersey and it’s a good thing they are moving ahead quickly with legalizing and regulating online gaming in the state. They probably saw this coming and acted quickly. New York has one of the largest populations in the union and this could mean billions of dollars in revenue especially when you calculate the tourist dollars. "Today's agreement with the legislature would establish world-class destination gaming resorts to attract tourists to upstate New York," Cuomo said in a statement. The government has already identified the fact that people are going to gamble and will go to other states to do it, so why not keep those dollars in the state, "This legislation is a major step forward in our efforts to both capitalize on this economic development and tourism potential and end the trend of letting neighboring states with legalized gaming take revenue that should be going to our schools."

Well now it’s a done deal as on Tuesday, July 30th Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday signed the “Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act.” Now it will be up to voters to sign the referendum come this November that will officially legalize the casinos. This means that four casinos will be developed in the Hudson Valley–Catskill area, the Capital District-Saratoga area, and the Central-Southern Tier. It’s the city of New York that will excluded along with Westchester, Rockland and Long Island from consideration, not to mention that this means there will be no more casinos being built in the state for another seven years. Of course the leading motivation for the government is the creation of jobs and tax revenue for the state. “Our focus has been to bring jobs and boost local economies in Upstate New York, where decades of decline have taken their toll in our communities," Cuomo said in a press release announcing the signing.

This could be just the start for the state as they have also confirmed that after the seven year hiatus from casino development in those regions, there could be more casinos coming after that, and that means the city of New York could see casinos coming there as well. Governor Cuomo promised in his state of the state address that he was going to put into place way to boost the local economies and casino was the way he was going to do it. Gambling revenue is no stranger to tax coffers in the state as they already get millions from the racetrack. New York state's nine racetrack casinos already employs about 5,000 people and has generated about $1.8 billion in gross gaming revenue 2012 and turned over $823 million in taxes to the state, according to data from the American Gaming Association (AGA).

One would think that by looking next door at New Jersey, they would be looking at legalizing online gaming to really bring in those state gambling dollars. The state of New York is ranked as the 3rd most populated state in the US with just over 19.5 million people. If they were to legalize online gaming, they could develop compacts with other states and that means millions of players in one big swoop if you factor in California were to legalize it.

But as it stands New York will be the most populated state to allow full-scale casino that will operate just like the Las Vegas casino in Nevada. One big difference is that Nevada doesn’t allow lotteries and New York does. So that means that lottery sites could easily allow online gaming as allowed by the federal government who admitted that in 2011; state lotteries can allow online gaming and that it would not be illegal according to the clarification. As it stands 48 percent of New Yorkers favor amending the constitution to allow the casinos and businesses and organizations that would be benefiting from this new change in the law are finally going to get their way and reap the benefits. Now if they can just get past this and take a look at online gaming that would really make the federal government stand up and take notice to finally do something.