The recent action out of Albany wasn't all about DNA databanks and pension reform. There was also much wheeling and dealing to bring Governor Andrew Cuomo's dream of non-Indian New York casinos closer to fruition. But even if gambling does get legalized here (and there are still many hoops to get through) don't expect to see a casino open in Times Square.
The plan currently moving forward would be allow up to seven Las Vegas-style casinos in the state but, thanks in part to pressure from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver ("I don't want to see people going out for lunch during work and losing a week's pay or a month's pay"), it won't include one in New York County. "All it's going to have is a maximum of seven," Silver said yesterday. "We'll deal with where, when and how next year."
Cuomo has some thoughts on the matter though: "I think we can use them as regional revitalization tools," he says of them. "I don’t think we need one in Manhattan to do that." He'd previously said he'd be fine with a casino in the city limits, not to mention in some upstate cities: "Albany is a real location. Buffalo is a real location."
Which is to say, this doesn't mean you won't see one in the outer boroughs. Marty Markowitz, for example, is all in on the idea of Coney Island casino. still, before you can play blackjack (legally) on the boardwalk there are quite a few more things to be done. An amendment needs to be approved by lawmakers again in 2013 as well as by a public referendum before it can be enacted. For now, you'll just have to make do with reservations and racinos.