New York Poll Shows Support for Casino Expansion

New York City

A recent poll in New York State shows that residents are in favor of a casino expansion.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to major budgetary issues in the state of New York. The area is one of the hardest hit by the virus, with businesses having shut down for quite some time due to an influx of positive cases last year. Right now, the budget deficit is around $14.5 billion. How will the gap be bridged? Some officials want to see gambling expanded, so a portion of what is needed would automatically come in. To see if residents are on board with this plan, a poll was taken by Global Strategy Group. In the end, the results showed that there is major support for more gaming in the state.

Positive Poll Results

The Global Strategy Group is based in New York and was hired by Empire City and Resorts World to conduct the poll. In its survey, it was revealed that 70% of voters want to see the two casinos add live dealer table games to their current offering. Genting New York currently operates Resorts World while MGM Resorts is in charge of Empire City.

Only 16% of those who were surveyed are not in favor of more games for the casinos. Another 14% of voters were undecided. In the poll, it was explained to voters that there are several benefits to expanding to offer live table games.

An analysis of the report showed that once voters were alerted of the benefits, they changed their mind to support the option. Those who were undecided changed their mind to be in support of the addition which means that 83% of those polled approved.

Benefits of adding live games include tens of millions in new licensing fees plus higher taxes paid on yearly gross gaming revenues. Right now, there is a moratorium in place that lasts until 2023 where table games are prohibited from the downstate area.

MGM and Genting want to provide money to the state before 2023 with live table games. There is a tremendous opportunity in the state for high tax dollars to be raised from new gaming, which would only benefit schools, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and other needs.

Moratorium Details

It is only the State Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo who can remove the moratorium that is in place. Cuomo has shown repeatedly that he is not in favor of a gaming expansion in the past. However, the effects of the pandemic have led him to have a change of heart in some areas. Cuomo has changed his mind on mobile sports betting, so maybe he would be open to this change as well.

By 2023, the moratorium involving full-scale casinos downstate will be removed. A law from 2013 that allowed four upstate commercial casinos have a restriction on the downstate venues. The goal was to allow the new properties times to mature and draw a customer base without competition from the lower portion of the state.

The law explains that the tourism upstate is a critical component of the overall economic infrastructure. The upstate casinos can attract non-residents of the state and bring in those from the lower section. By 2023, the law allows for three full-scale casinos in the downstate area. Empire City and Resorts World are expected to be given a permit, so there will only be room for one more venue.

Who will obtain this last permit is anyone’s guess. In the past, the Las Vegas Sands has shown great interest in being the one chosen for the New York casino. The company has shown interest in creating a casino in NYC. If the 2023 moratorium is removed, we should see companies starting to submit bids for the remaining permit.

Associate Writer: Geoff enjoys both live and online poker as well as casino games, and is particularly knowledgeable about the legal landscape of online gambling.