Gov. Andrew Cuomo has submitted language to the New York State Legislature amending Article I of the Constitution that would make casinos the third form of legalized gaming in the state along with lotteries and horse racing.
The language, a simple eight-word insertion, “and except casino gambling regulated by the state,” exempting such activity from state prohibitions, caught some observers by surprise as it was devoid of any detail such as where state-regulated casinos may or may not be located. Some supporters of expanded gaming think such detail will be essential for public support. Any changes in the state’s constitution must be approved by a popular vote after passing successive sessions in the legislature, meaning the soonest the amendment could become law is after the 2013 elections.
“It would be my preference to specify all the locations where the casinos could go in the state,” State Sen. John Bonacic, from Orange County in the Catskills region, told the Buffalo News. “Voters need to know where [casinos] are going, and how it affects their particular region, and the people that are going to invest and market the referendum in 2013 have to know the end game. For all those reasons, it is my wish and hope that we specify all the regions in 2012.”