Albany - (WALK) State lawmakers are betting on gambling to improve jobs prospects and to raise revenue for New York.
Legislators authorize four upstate casinos, two video-slot maching parlors for Long Island, and approved a referendum about amending the state consititution to permit non-Native-American-Run casinos in New York.
The measures adopted Friday would reportedly permit operation of four casinos upstate, but bar casinos in downstate New York City, Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland counties. Nassau and Suffolk would each be permitted to open one video-slot machines parlor with a maximum of 1,000 machines per-location. Lawmakers are expected to ratify the deal on Friday.
In addition to the proposed bill to permit casinos upstate, a seperate bill would amend the constitution to permit a maximum of seven non-Native American-run casinos in New York State. Voters would decide on the proposed amendment by referendum in November. New York already has five Native American-run casinos and nine horse racing tracks where gamblers can use video slot machines, aka: vdieo lottery teminals, or VLTs.
Suffolk and Nassau would be permitted to each open a video slots facility, according to sponsors of the bill, Senator Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Steve Englebright (D-Setauket). Anti-gambling groups reportedly criticize the deal as bad luck for Long Island, as it eliminates the right of local residents to say no to gambling in their community.
Another key bill, the Women's Equality Act, passed in both chambers, but there was no reconciling legislation, so the Act was not enacted in this session.