New Yorkers Support Casino Expansion Amid Covid-19 Pandemic, Survey Finds

Amid the economic downfall of Covid-19, a Global Strategy Group survey asked New Yorkers whether they agreed on casino expansion in the city.

Poll Backed by Two NY Video Slot Parlors

A Global Strategy Group survey found that 70% of registered voters are inclined to support casino expansion in New York as an alternative to increasing taxes or budget cuts. Backed by Resorts World Aqueduct and MGM Empire City Yonkers, the poll asked the communities surrounding each property if they agreed to the conversion of two video slot parlors into full-fledged gambling locations. The survey ran from December 4 to December 14, 2020, and interrogated 800 New Yorkers.

While 16% of respondents opposed casino expansion, two thirds of voters residing near the Resorts World Aqueduct and 73% of those living around the MGM racino agreed to wagering expansion to include casino games.

With retail revenues down to $600 million due to the pandemic, expanding gambling would allow casinos to come back as big moneymakers. Resorts World Aqueduct has also announced that it plans on building a hotel next door, while real estate investment firm Vornado Realty Trust has suggested building a casino near Herald Square.

News on New York’s economic crisis, as well as more awareness around how much revenue casinos could bring to the state, inspired more New Yorkers to start supporting casino gambling expansion, Global Strategy declared.

“The billion dollars in license fees and millions per year in additional tax revenue and protection of jobs in hard-hit communities in Yonkers and the Bronx effectively persuade undecided voters to tilt toward supporting the proposal.”

According to the poll analysis, support increases to 83% when citizens are properly informed on the matter.

Mobile Sports Betting in New York?

Fifty-six percent of voters said gambling was the best option to close the state’s enormous $14.5 billion budget deficit, the poll reports, against 7% in favor of tax increases and 6% for spending cuts. About 31% of respondents did not answer the survey.

State Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed to authorize online sports betting to help the state, despite his initial skepticism. The question of whether remote betting should also be allowed at Resorts World Aqueduct and the Yonkers parlors, instead of solely at the four upstate casinos, was also brought up in the survey. Only 21% said it should be reserved to the upstate locations, against 51% in favor of the two slot parlors. The rest said they did not have a preference.

The current state gambling law can allow three additional full-scale casinos in 2023. As of now, Cuomo’s budget plan already considers early casino proposals from bidders.

Last December, Resorts World Aqueduct dubbed itself the city’s biggest taxpayer, as it reported $3 billion generated for the New York’s Lottery Education Fund since it opened 10 years ago.

According to the State Gaming Commission‘s recent study, opening three scale gambling properties downstate, including the Aqueduct and Yonkers properties on top of a new casino in Manhattan, could bring between $420 million and $630 million in yearly revenue to the New York.

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