NY favors gambling, but not in its towns

Nov 20, 2001 2:34 AM

The majority of New York residents want gambling, so long as it’s not in their towns.

A poll by Quinnipiac University found that 54 percent support Indian-run casinos “on Native American reservations in New York” compared to 34 percent that were opposed.

The poll was released the same day casino expansion into the Catskills, Buffalo and Niagara Falls was approved by the State Legislature. Of the 1,207 New York registered voters, 66 percent opposed casinos in their town or city compared with 30 percent that favored them.

The gaming bill expansion allows up to three casinos in two Catskills counties (Sullivan and Ulster) and up to three in western New York. However, only one of the six casinos is proposed on a reservation.

The poll also found that 48 percent favored legalizing casino gambling so that parties other than Native Americans can operate gaming businesses. But, 43 percent opposed casinos statewide.

Despite Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent interest in getting a casino in New York City, 80 percent of those polled opposed a gambling hall.

The results supported a poll done by Zogby International last June that found 56 percent support for more Indian casinos in the state and 58 percent in favor of casinos in western New York or in the Catskills.