Since before Hurricane Sandy, New York state legislators have been considering an constitutional amendment that could bring Las Vegas-style casinos to areas outside of Native American land as early as November 2013. Now, conservative anti-gambling groups are worried that the storm and its associated costs will provide more incentive for lawmakers to vote the amendment in. “I think it does change it a little bit. It makes our task harder because legislators who may have been on the fence are going to be desperate to raise revenues,” said Joel Rose of the Coalition Against Gambling in New York. “I think it’s an easier sell so we have to work harder to defeat it.”
Those involved in making the decision, however, say Sandy will have no effect on it. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he doesn’t “see the connection” between the two issues, and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow assured he would “proceed in the exact same way if Sandy had not happened.”
By expressing their worry, anti-casino advocates are implicitly admitting that the state needs money for reconstruction, and that expanded gambling could provide some of that extra revenue. Do they really hate casinos that much?