Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) praised Governor Cuomo for announcing in his “State of the State” address a plan to keep casino gambling upstate — and out of New York City.
The Phase One plan announced Wednesday goes along with a measure calling for a Constitutional amendment that must be resubmitted to the Legislature this session and then put to a popular vote. The plan would begin by placing three casinos upstate with a limit of seven. Revenue would be split 90 percent for education and 10 percent for local property tax relief.
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, who is Chairman of the Committee on Drug Abuse and Alcoholism, spoke Wednesday at a press conference sponsored by the organization “Stop the Coney Island Casino.”
He also reiterated the importance of addressing the underside of the gaming industry — the potential increase in compulsive gambling that could accompany an increase of gambling venues.
“Right now, there are no state-funded problem-gambling services in Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx. This is not only dangerous but unacceptable if we’re going to start luring people Upstate with new gambling opportunities,” he said.
“We desperately need the revenue that we could gain from Governor Cuomo’s new plan, but we must act responsibly and make sure we have the appropriate resources in place to deal with the negative implications. The one thing we don’t want to be gambling with is people’s lives,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.