The Daily Gazette
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Cuomo open to pushing casino issue off until 2014

A public referendum on a live-table non-indian casino amendment could be pushed back until next year, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo after his cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Delaying the issue is being considered because a majority of the state's electorate this November is expected to come from New York City, which isn't getting any of the three initial casinos planned for the state. There is some fear that New York City voters would oppose the constitutional amendment approving up to seven live-table non-indian casinos because they don't have a vested interest in the first round of casinos.

“That has been raised as a problem ... It's a legitimate issue," Cuomo said.

The governor has real reason to be worried about the amendment failing a referendum, based on a Siena poll from the middle of April. A breakdown of the poll is available below.

Only 43 percent of New York City people polled supported "passing an amendment to the state constitution to allow non-Indian, Las Vegas style casinos to be built in New York."

Confusing the issue, though, is the fact when New York City voters were more supportive of Cuomo's placement plan for the initial three casinos than the constitutional amendment. A slim plurality of 48 percent of New York City voters polled were in favor of putting the first three casinos in the upstate region.

A slim majority of upstate voters support the constitutional amendment and the plan for the first three casinos to be upstate.

When asked whether he was open to pushing the casino referendum back to 2014, when the voter turnout will be more evenly distributed throughout the state, Cuomo said, “That would be an option… that I would be open to.”

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Siena April Poll

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