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Long Island The Center Of New Casino Proposal In New York

The Northeast has become a hotbed for casino gambling over the past decade, but the most influential state in the region, New York, has moved slowly towards the gaming industry. That is expected to soon change with Governor Andrew Cuomo heading up casino expansion efforts.

Cuomo has stated several times over the past few years that he believes new Vegas-style casino resorts would be good for the states economy. Cuomo has received little opposition to his casino expansion plan, outside of a few lawmakers who would like to see casinos in their areas of the state.

After reports surfaced that a Long Island gaming facility proposal was in the works, Cuomo and his aides denied that proposal existed. This week, State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos acknowledged that such a plan existed, and that he was behind the measure. The exact location was not mentioned, but Skelos confirmed that video slots were part of a proposal for Suffolk and Nassau counties.

"New York is in the feeling out part of the process in gaming expansion," said Analyst Andy Simons. "Legislators know they want the additional revenue that casino resorts can bring, but they do not yet know how far they want to take the expansion. It is my guess that before long, New York will become the gaming center of the East Coast."

Currently that title belongs to Pennsylvania. While New Jersey had been the gaming mecca in the Northeast for decades, it took Pennsylvania less than 10 years to wrestle that title away from the Garden State. Pennsylvania sits second to only Nevada in terms of overall casino gaming revenue in the US.

New York lawmakers are moving quickly to get casinos approved after Massachusetts lawmakers approved new casino resorts last year. New York has several Indian casinos in the state, and a casino at Aqueduct. That is the extent of the casino industry in the state, something that Cuomo wants to change.

The governor would like three major Vegas-style resorts. Legislators, led by Skelos, have countered with an idea of several small video machine facilities in addition to the resorts.

Officials in Suffolk and Nassau counties have maintained that hundreds of millions of dollars in gambling money has left the counties in recent years. Adding casinos in both counties is a top priority of Governor Cuomo to help enhance budget shortcomings.

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