Wed May 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cayuga Nation leadership dispute continues to smolder

The flare up in events is a boiling over of a decade-old dispute among senior members of the Cayuga, who disagree over who controls the nation and its business interests.

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Mon May 5, 2014
Regional Coverage

National anti-casino activists lend support to Southern Tier residents

Protesters gather to oppose a new casino being proposed in Tyre.
Matt Martin WSKG

A vocal group of residents in Tyre have sued their town board over a proposal to bring a casino to the rural farming community. The group is now getting support from a national anti-casino activist. 

Protestors gathered Thursday in a field next to a proposed casino site in Tyre. The handful of protesters held signs opposing Rochester businessman Thomas Wilmot’s casino application.

Wilmot’s one of three applicants seeking to build a casino in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region.

Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, addressed the crowd.

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Thu April 10, 2014

New York State Gaming Commission hears testimony on problem gambling

Viri G Flickr

The New York State Gaming Commission is holding hearings on the issue of gambling addiction. It’s part of a process that will allow the building of up to seven new casino gambling resorts in the state over the next several years.

Among those testifying was James Maney, the executive director of the New York Council on Problem Gambling.

Maney, who’s organization is neither for or against gambling, says there’s no doubt the new casinos will increase the number of problem gamblers in New York.   

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Thu November 7, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo touts casino amendment win

Patja Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not lose any time in publicizing a win on a gambling expansion amendment in Tuesday’s voting. The governor made two public appearances in regions that are now authorized to build resort style casinos.

In what amounted to a post election victory lap, Cuomo celebrated the passage of the casino gambling amendment in the Catskills with a crowd of business, labor and local government officials. He called it a huge win.

“This is a game changer,” Cuomo said. “It means jobs. It means business. It means getting the economy running.”

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Wed November 6, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo wins on casino and judge retirement age ballot amendments

The success of Proposition 1, the ballot amendment to expand casino gambling, and the failure of the last amendment, to allow judges to serve until age 80, are both wins for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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Fri November 1, 2013
Politics and Government

Commercial gambling's history moves from underground to mainstream

ChrisYunker via Flickr

If voters on Tuesday pass the proposed amendment to the state constitution to allow casino gambling, New York will become the 21st state to have commercial, Las Vegas-style casinos. Across much of the country nowadays, gambling seems like the natural state of things. But it wasn’t always that way.

If you’re a person of a certain age -- say about 50 -- you’ll remember when going to the casino meant a trip all the way to Las Vegas. It seems almost quaint now, but just a generation ago casinos were outlawed in 49 of 50 states. Only Nevada allowed legalized gambling.

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Thu October 24, 2013
Politics and Government

New York Jobs Now coalition rallies in support of casino referendum

New York Jobs Now suggests that the proposed casinos could bring 10,000 jobs to New York state.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Supporters of casino-style gambling are making themselves heard in central New York two weeks before Election Day. A coalition of economic development, labor leaders and politicians, called the New York Jobs Now coalition, is encouraging voters to support Proposal Number One, which would allow non-Indian casino gambling in upstate New York. Boosters say the whole state would benefit from this initiative in a couple of ways.

For State Senator Dave Valesky of Oneida, approving gambling upstate is a no-brainer.

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Thu October 17, 2013
Politics and Government

State Supreme Court rejects casino wording suit

ChrisYunker via Flickr

A state Supreme Court judge threw out a lawsuit challenging the wording of a November ballot amendment to expand gambling in New York. Opponents say they will appeal.

Judge Richard Platkin rejected a challenge from a Brooklyn attorney who said the wording of the November ballot amendment, to allow up to seven new gambling casinos in New York, is biased.

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Wed October 16, 2013
Politics and Government

Anti-gambling advocates destroy slot machine during protest at State Capitol

Anti-gambling activists smash a slot machine during a protest in front of the State Capitol.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Anti-gambling activists took a sledgehammer to a slot machine in front of the New York State Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to a ballot amendment to legalize gambling casinos in New York state.  

Wielding a sledgehammer, anti-gambling advocates took turns smashing up a Lucky 7 slot machine, at a park with the New York State Capitol in the background, as TV news cameras recorded the event.

David Blankenhorn, with the Institute for American Values, organized the event.

“It felt great,” Blankehorn said. “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.”

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Fri October 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Coalition promotes casino amendment, as judge set to hear lawsuit

The push for passage of a ballot amendment to allow up to seven new gambling casinos in New York has begun. A coalition of business leaders, labor unions, and local elected officials are holding press conferences across the state. They expect to run some TV ads, as well.

The name of the coalition says nothing about gambling casinos -- instead it’s called New York Jobs Now. Business Council President Heather Briccetti said the new resort-style casinos proposed will bring employment to economically depressed areas.

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Mon September 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Poll finds support for pro-gambling language in ballot amendment

ChrisYunker via Flickr

A new poll finds language on a referendum on New York state's November ballot to portray the expansion of casino gambling in a positive light is working, and gaining support among potential voters.  

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Mon September 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Opposition to gambling amendment heats up

Another anti-gambling group has released a study debunking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature’s claims about the benefits of permitting more casino gambling in New York.  So far opponents have been more vocal than supporters about the November 5 ballot referendum.

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Fri September 20, 2013
Politics and Government

Casino referendum wording increases odds that amendment will pass, say critics

This November, voters in New York will decide whether the state will allow up to seven new resort-style gambling casinos, when they vote on a constitutional amendment. But the wording of the actual referendum on the ballot may increase the odds of the new casinos being approved.

Most ballot referendums proposing constitutional changes are written in very drab, and even confusing language. But the proposal to change the state’s constitution to allow up to seven new gambling casinos is different.

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Mon September 2, 2013
Politics and Government

New York City voters may decide upstate gambling expansion

Matthew Powell/flickr

This November, voters will get a chance to decide whether or not to expand gambling in upstate New York. But because of a quirk in the election calendar, it’s likely that downstate voters will be the ones to make that decision.

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Fri August 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Expansion of gambling could bring expansion of gambling addiction

Matthew Powell/flickr

New Yorkers have a chance to vote this November on whether there should be more gambling in the state.  Those who treat people with gambling addictions say it will likely result in more problem gamblers.

The New York Council on Problem Gambling is a not for profit, affiliated with the state agency on alcohol and drug abuse. It coordinates and publicizes treatments for New Yorkers with gambling addictions.

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Thu June 20, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Casino revenue to be used for multiple initiatives in Niagara Falls

City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Ashley Hassett WBFO/Innovation Trail

The City of Niagara Falls is set to receive a lump sum of $89 million after the settlement of a long-standing dispute between New York state and the Seneca Nation over gambling revenues.

The first order of business for the city is to pay back over $22 million borrowed from its general fund that’s been depleted over the past several years while the state and Senecas were at odds.

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Thu June 6, 2013

Cuomo deals his bill for upstate New York casinos

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to place three Las Vegas-style casinos in upstate New York.
ChrisYunker via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a bill to authorize three new gambling casinos in upstate New York, if the legislature agrees to his plan and voters approve it in the fall.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has been pushing the plan for upstate casinos as an economic development tool for several months now. The constitutional amendment needed, which has already received partial passage, calls for seven casinos. Cuomo wants just three destination gambling centers for now.

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Fri May 3, 2013

Lawmakers consider delaying vote on allowing casinos

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to bring three casinos to upstate New York.
ChrisYunker via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have tried to jump start negotiations over siting several new gambling casinos in New York. But they also conceded that the plans might be delayed for another year.

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Tue February 5, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Is another casino for Niagara Falls a good idea?

Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly putting together a proposal that would see a second, non-Indian operate casino open in downtown Niagara Falls. The question is whether the market could sustain another casino.

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Thu January 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo says proposed casinos would draw tourists upstate

License Some rights reserved by Håkan Dahlström Creative Commons License

During his State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered more details on a plan for casino gambling in New York state. If the governor gets his way, the proposed new casinos would come to upstate first.

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Wed December 19, 2012

Cuomo: let market forces determine best gambling locations

In 2013, New Yorkers may get a chance to vote on whether they want to expand gambling in the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the ballot proposal is unlikely to name which cities may build new casinos, though.

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Mon October 1, 2012
Politics and Government

Report finds half of racing horse deaths were preventable

A report by the Cuomo admisntration on the death of 21 horses at a New York racing course concludes that half of the deaths could have been prevented.  

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Wed June 6, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo puts gambling and convention center agreement on hold

Now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has confirmed that a deal with a major gambling company to build a convention center in Queens has fallen through, Cuomo says he’s opening up the bids to more companies.

The governor’s change  of plans come amid reports that the gambling company Genting contributed over two million dollars to a lobbying group closely associated with the governor.

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Wed May 23, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cuomo takes the reigns of NYRA

Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken the reigns of the troubled New York Racing Association Board, saying he needs to “restore the public trust” in a rapidly changing gaming industry.  

Cuomo convinced members of the independent board that oversees horse racing in New York to agree to a restructuring that will give the governor the majority of appointees on a new, slimmed down board.

The move comes after a series of controversies at the troubled New York Racing Association, which led to the recent firing of its president and top legal counsel over allegations that NYRA knowingly withheld millions of dollars owed to bettors.

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Fri May 4, 2012

Why betting on horses is legal, when gambling elsewhere is not

Larry Scott watches the races from the many screens at the off-track betting parlor in Phoenix, N.Y. He says he doesn't have any desire to bet on the horses online and prefers the OTB.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The rules on legal gambling in New York State can be a little murky.

Casinos on Indian Territory are allowed, but not elsewhere - for now. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been calling for the legalization of casinos in the rest of the state.

New York also already has what are known as “racinos”: horse racing tracks where there are also video slot machines, along with plenty of betting on the actual horses.

Betting on those same horses online is also allowed. But betting on poker and other card games on the internet is not.


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Mon January 23, 2012
Politics and Government

Gov. Cuomo introduces bill to legalize casino gambling in New York

Governor Cuomo has released a bill to amend the state’s constitution to legalize casino gambling in New York.

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