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Back Of The Ballot: Vegas-Style Casinos In Upstate N.Y. To Be Decided Tuesday

Gov. Cuomo Promises Jobs, Growth; Opponents: Proposal Language 'Rigged'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s been a low-profile campaign for a high-stakes proposition.

Should New York State go “all in” for casino gambling?

To the surprise of some voters, the question will be on the ballot on Tuesday, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.

The proposal to expand casino gambling in the Empire State hasn’t exactly won a jackpot of attention from voters.

It’s called Proposition 1.

“I don’t even know what Proposition 1 is! I’m embarrassed,” said Christine Tripi of Brooklyn.

The casino plan would amend the state constitution to allow Las Vegas-style casino resorts upstate.

The Catskills, the capital district and the southern tier would each get at least one casino. Eventually a total of seven could be licensed state-wide.

Supporters are selling gambling as a boon for jobs and money for schools.

“The beauty of the whole thing is it’s going to go into the state educational fund, the profits, so the whole state’s going to really benefit. It’s important for everybody and the social issues will take care of themselves,” said James Cahill of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council.

The social issues, such as compulsive gambling, have opponents hoping to smash this key initiative of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. They charge that he stacked the deck because the question on the ballot mentions “job growth,” “increasing aid to schools” and “lower property taxes” — but not any potential downside.

“Shame on the governor and his people for having such contempt for the voters that they would put this rigged language on the ballot,” said David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values.

Polls show voters are leaning towards approving Proposition 1.

“It will bring the hotel business back, and it will give employment,” Aaron Ziegelman said.

“I’m voting no. I’m a gambler and I want to save me from myself,” added Vida Antoinette,

The proposal will be on the back of the ballot when you get into the booth, Aiello reported.

If the casino proposal is approved, state officials will appoint a special commission to decide where the casinos will be located, and who will run them, Aiello reported.

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