Supporters of the referendum to change the New York state constitution in order to allow the licensing of as many as seven Las Vegas-style casinos will learn this week just how much “spin” they can use to lure voters.
Rosy language used by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to attract voters raised the ire of opponents who ran to the courts for help.
The referendum, when initially drawn, offered a bare-bones question to the voters. Simply stated was the question: Do you approve the constitutional change to allow non-tribal casino gambling? However, reportedly that wasn’t enough for casino backers.
In its re-written form, the question now promises jobs, more school aid and lower taxes. All of these promises are being dispute by opponents.
A judge has set a court date of Oct. 11 in state Supreme Court in Albany to hear both sides.
Also, the lawsuit filed by Atty. Eric Snyder contests the placement of the casino question as the first referendum issue. Traditionalists noted that normally the questions are placed in the same order the lawmakers approved the measures for the ballot. That would have placed the gambling referendum in last place on the ballot.
In a recent poll conducted by Siena College, voters were split on the issue at 46 percent, but that was before the ballot language was changed. After the promises of benefits were inserted, voters who were polled supported casinos by 55 percent.
Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.
Contact Ray at [email protected].