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Full-Scale Casino Gambling Still A Few Years Away In New York

Residents of the state of New York are starting to get excited about the prospects of having casino resorts in their hometown. The possibility of the gaming resorts became a lot stronger this week when Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his first full casino endorsement.

Cuomo, speaking to the Daily News in a year-end wrap up interview, told of how he envisioned casino gambling in New York's future. Contrary to some earlier reports, however, Cuomo stopped short of declaring New York City as the lone destination for such a gaming establishment. Instead, Cuomo spoke of how several different areas would be worthy recipients of a casino.

"Do I support casino gaming at a New York City location?...Yes," said Cuomo, in the interview. "I'm not excluding any locations at this time. New York City is a real location, Albany is a real location. Buffalo is a real location."

The preference for Cuomo is for the state Legislature to pass a bill in the upcoming session that would authorize casino gambling. In most states, when these laws are created, they are done so with an exact amount of casinos they are authorizing. Cuomo wants New York lawmakers to legalize casinos first, and then worry about exact number of casinos and locations at a later date.

Although New Yorkers are starting to get excited about the idea of casino gambling in the state, it likely will be at least a couple of more years before a casino is operational in New York. The earliest voters would get a chance to weigh in on the issue would be in 2013. Any changes to the current gaming laws in New York must pass a public referendum.

New York is one of the only states in the Northeast that does not authorize casino gambling outside of their Tribal-owned casinos. Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maine have all opened new casinos within the past year. Massachusetts legislators finalized a new law earlier this year legalizing Vegas-style casino resorts.

New York is considered a prime location for gaming developers. With millions of people walking the streets of New York City on a daily basis, analysts believe that a casino could bring billions of dollars to the state budget over time.

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