Governor Cuomo Refuses to Put up Fee for Gaming License
In a meeting with State Senator Pat Geary in his Lake Tahoe compound, Governor Andrew Cuomo refused to put up the fee for the gaming license of a new casino he plans to open in the Southern Tier of Upstate New York. Seated in his darkened study during the lavish first communion party of his son Anthony Mario Cuomo, the governor stated “my offer is this: nothing”.
Governor Cuomo’s plans to pass an amendment to the New York State Constitution to allow commercial casino gambling and get out of the olive oil business have been met with praise as well as criticism. Public policy experts have lauded the plan as a creative means of raising state revenue without a tax hike. “We have the unions and we have the drug rackets and those are the best things to have, but casinos [sic] is the wave of the future” said Gino Pigliucci, a fellow at the Rockefeller Institute “if we don’t get a piece of that action someone else will, maybe some of the 50 states, maybe all of them. Now with the money they earn, they’ll be able to buy more police and political power; then they come after us”.
However, not everyone is so optimistic about the proposal. Religious groups and those concerned with gambling addiction have raised concerns about the long-term social effects of the scheme. Others criticize gambling expansion on more pragmatic, fiscal grounds. Yitzhak Hirsh, a lobbyist for the hotel industry and majority shareholder of the Tropicana cast doubt on Cuomo's push for expansion “Everybody knows that the Cuomos don’t have that kind of muscle anymore! Those guineas really make me laugh. They’re getting chased out of New York and they have the nerve to make a move on me!”
Despite criticisms, Cuomo is moving ahead with the plan promising increased revenue for schools and hospitals in cash-strapped districts. This February at a glitzy ribbon-cutting ceremony, Cuomo announced the opening of the Del Lago Resort and Casino. After the event his domestic partner Sandra Lee told him she had an abortion.