A solid majority of New Yorkers support amending the New York State Constitution to allow enhanced casino gaming at existing racetrack casino revenues, according to a survey released today by the New York Gaming Association (NYGA.)

“New Yorkers support enhanced casino gaming because they understand that residents are currently spending billions of gaming dollars in Connecticut, Atlantic City and elsewhere, and that we can and should take action to keep that money in our state where it can boost our own economy,” said NYGA President James D. Featherstonhaugh.

“Enhanced gaming is not a miracle cure for our state’s economic problems, but it will help create jobs, stimulate local and regional economies, and generate revenue to support education,” Featherstonhaugh said.

Unlike recent polls that looked at amending the Constitution to permit expanded casino gambling throughout the state, this poll focused on a proposal to enhance gaming at New York’s existing racetrack casinos. Specifically, the survey tested a proposal to amend the Constitution to permit the addition of table games and slot machines at the nine existing sites around the state, making them full-fledged casinos. The poll was conducted by Kiley & Company earlier this month and found the following: * A clear majority of New York voters – 55 percent – favor allowing enhanced casino gaming at New York’s nine existing racetrack casino venues; *

Economic benefits for the state was the key factor leading 61 percent to support enhanced gaming at the racetrack casinos; * Fifty-one percent of the respondents cited job creation; * Half of respondents support the proposal because nearly 50 of tax revenue generated from racetrack casinos goes to bolster state funding for education, and because enhanced gaming would bolster funding for schools by an additional $100 million; * Unlike the strong majority who support the enhancement of gaming at existing racetracks, 58 percent oppose lifting all restrictions on casinos and expanding casino gaming beyond the existing racetrack casinos.

Pollsters spoke by telephone with 802 registered voters between October 9 and 12. NYGA (www.newyorkgaming.org) was created earlier this year to advance the interests of the state’s nine racetrack casinos. Those facilities are: Batavia Downs; Finger Lakes; Hamburg; Monticello; Resorts World NY – Aqueduct; Saratoga; Tioga Downs; Vernon Downs; and Yonkers.


Contact: Dan Weiller 518.432.9220