New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has just announced that he is open to proposals for a convention center and casino combo in or close to New York City. The acceptable areas for development would also include Manhattan or Belmont race track on Long Island, according to a state official.
This renewed effort for a convention center and casino could take over a year and could also require voters to approve a referendum in 2013 to rewrite the state constitution. This would allow casinos to be built on property other than Indian reservations. That approval, however, is still up in the air with Cuomo even stating that it would be a difficult sell for citizens.
Regardless, planning continues which could bring a casino to Manhattan or a convention center and casino combo, complete with lavish hotels, to the outer borough of Belmont. The casino convention center combo could also come to Yonkers, which is north of Manhattan, or any of the other tiny, publicly owned islands off of Manhattan. What is interesting is that previous plans for casinos in Manhattan have been opposed by Cuomo and ruled out by Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
This new effort comes after Cuomo’s landmark plan for the Aqueduct race track in Queens fell through. Cuomo mentioned earlier on WOR Radio in New York City that talks on the race track didn’t amount to much. In addition to that, Cuomo has also secured a nonbinding letter of intent from the Malaysian-based Genting group to fund the $4 billion convention center that could also lead to a casino if the referendum passes.
The state official stated that Cuomo has now started a process to consider proposals from some of the top gambling developers in the world. A convention center is probably more likely than a casino,, especially if the citizens are going to have to vote on the idea. However, the fact that Cuomo is considering ideas is definitely a new step for the Governor and the state.
Source: The Washington Post – NY to consider NYC-wide proposals for convention center-casino project after Queens deal flops