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On the heels of the opening of the Aqueduct racino, support is growing to expand gambling in the state, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.
Resorts World Casino New York City opened in October, but state law limits the racino to only having video lottery terminals — devices similar to slot machines — and electronic table games.
An amendment to the state constitution is needed to bring table games and full casino gambling to Aqueduct.
In a Quinnipiac poll released last month, 64 percent of voters said they support Atlantic City- or Las Vegas-style casinos, compared to 31 percent who said they were against the idea.
“Casino gaming requires a constitutional amendment, and the state Legislature must act soon to get the process started,” said Quinnipiac poll spokesman Maurice Carroll. “New Yorkers say ‘Shuffle and deal.’”
That number is up from a Quinnipiac survey in October that found 56 percent of state voters would like to see such casinos.
More men (68 percent) than women (60 percent) support more gambling, the new poll found.
More than 70 percent of those making $100,000 to $150,000 per year who were polled said they supported expanding gambling in the state, while 57 percent of those earning less than $40,000 are in favor of more gambling.
A majority — 68 percent — of those polled said new casinos would be good for the economy, but 58 percent also said casinos will lead to an increase in gambling addiction.
Besides voters, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is in favor of bringing casino gambling to the state and Mayor Michael Bloomberg also supports it as long as the benefits of the casinos are coming to the city as well.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said he intends to work on changing the law when the Legislature begins its new session this month.
“Rather than see the money keep going to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos upstate, in this stagnant economy I believe we must start the process, including public input, for the expansion of VLT racinos into full casino gaming to increase our revenues and to boost education initiatives,” he said. “The smart bets are that voters would want to amend the [state] constitution and ‘let the games begin’ — making it a win-win situation for the economy of our state and for our people.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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