Niagara Gazette

Columns

May 9, 2013

GLYNN: More details needed on casino proposal

Niagara Gazette — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pledged in his earlier State of the State addresses that he would change the culture of Albany.

In his administration, government was to be open, frank and candid. In a word, more transparent than what voters in the Empire State have come to expect for too many years. 

Now Cuomo, ostensibly to spur economic development upstate, is asking the Legislature to approve second passage of amendment to the State Constitution to allow up to seven casinos in New York. At this point, no one knows for sure where the casinos would be located. 

In the initial announcement, Cuomo said the first three should be upstate which could mean Westchester County, Plattsburgh or Niagara County, among other municipalities.

There are more questions than answers, as the right-on-the-money editorial in the Albany Times Union stated Tuesday.

• What impact would the new casino plan have on racinos, the gambling halls that offer video lottery terminals?

• Would casinos create jobs and bring in new business? Or would they simply suck money out of one community into another?

• Will money be set aside to offer gambling addiction help?

•  What about the whole issue of home rule? Is the state going to ram the casinos through even if the majority of residents in an area oppose the plan? 

It’s a little like buying a house without a clue about mortgage payments, taxes, and the zoning ordinances. After all, it helps to know what kind of neighborhood you’re moving into. 

•••

ON THE AIR: Lew Custode, a trumpet player and vocalist known to thousands of Western New Yorkers, will start a weekly radio show June 5 on WJJL (1440) in Niagara Falls. “It will feature traditional jazz,” Custode said. The Wednesday program will air from 3 to 4 p.m. 

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