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Cuomo signs law laying out state's gambling bet

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— Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law the plan that outlines how four upstate non-indian live-table casinos will be chosen, if a constitutional amendment allowing the expansion of gambling is approved this fall in statewide referendum.

The bill, which approves the creation of two video gaming facilities in Long Island, was passed by both house of the state Legislature in the waning days of the legislative session in June. The final version of the bill, which was introduced by Cuomo as just an idea in January, did not include a ban on political contributions and identified four possible upstate regions for the four casinos, with one region including the Capital Region.

“Our focus has been to bring jobs and boost local economies in Upstate New York, where decades of decline have taken their toll in our communities," Cuomo said in a statement. "This new law will bring the state one step closer to establishing world-class destination gaming resorts that will attract tourists to Upstate New York and support thousands of good paying jobs as well as new revenue for local businesses. For too many years, gaming revenue has left New York for our neighboring states. Today, we are putting New York State in a position to have those dollars spent here in our communities, which will benefit our local economies and tourism industries, as well as support education and property tax relief."

The final version of the bill received the support of the state's nine racinos. Support came after the initial version of the bill was amended with new tax rates and allowed for the creation of new video gaming facilities all over the state if the public referendum fails.

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