Casino support evenly split

Albany

A new Siena Research Institute poll released Monday finds that while voters are evenly divided on the general subject of building casinos across the state, the wording of the ballot question that will decide the issue boosts their enthusiasm considerably.

The poll found respondents split at 46 percent apiece on casino expansion when asked whether they support or oppose “passing an amendment to the state constitution to allow non-Indian, Las Vegas-style casinos to be built in New York.”

But when they were given the wording as it will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot — including the explanation of the legislative intent “of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated,” support outpaced opposition 55 to 42 percent.

Presented with the ballot wording, voters in upstate, the suburbs and New York City support the constitutional amendment to allow for the development of seven new casinos.

That wording has earned brickbats from many good government groups: Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group said in a recent interview with WMHT’s “New York Now” that it was “more spin than a roulette wheel.”

Even so, Siena found that a bare majority of voters, 51 ………..

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