A battle is being waged over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to legalize full-scale casino gambling in the state. However, the battle isn't between pro- and anti-gambling factions, but among rival factions that support the legalization.
The rivals include the state's slot-machine operators, Las Vegas-style casino operators, Native American-operated casinos and the Malaysian gambling giant that will fund the state's casino if the proposal is approved. All of the supporters are arguing over the number of casino licenses, locations of the casinos and the possibility of lowering the high tax-rate on gambling in New York.
Already, the groups are planning to spend millions of dollars in a push to win public and political support for the governor's proposal, which has to be approved by the Legislature and possibly a public referendum.
Cuomo's proposal includes the construction of the largest convention center in the country at the site of the old Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, complete with a full Las Vegas-style casino. Genting Berhard, the company that will finance the new convention center, has already hired some of the state's prominent lobbyists to take its case to members of the state legislature.
In a poll released last month, 53 percent of voters said they were in favor of a Las-Vegas-style casino in the state, while 42 percent said they opposed it.