The Real Deal New York

New Yorkers approve of casinos, but aren’t as supportive of Aqueduct plans

February 15, 2012 01:00PM

More than half of New York voters support the creation of Atlantic City-style casinos in the state, according to poll results released today by Quinnipiac University. And Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has supported expanding gambling in the state, has an approval rating of 69 percent — and 71 percent among New York City voters.

New York City residents viewed the establishment of full casinos in the state with less enthusiasm than their upstate counterparts. Fifty-one percent of city residents supported the measure, compared to 57 percent of upstate residents, for a combined average of 54 percent.

But all New Yorkers were less approving of the specific plans to build an Atlantic City-style casino and convention center at the Aqueduct race track in Queens. Just 49 percent of New Yorkers approved that plan, and exactly half of city residents favored the development. Republicans showed slightly more support for the plan than did Democrats.

The results come into focus just as the New York Post reported that Cuomo wants expand the existing racino at Aqueduct in an effort to double the state’s annual income from the site. Cuomo wants to allow Genting Group to expand the racino, and take less of a cut from the new slots, in exchange for pouring $4 billion into a convention center. The Post said the move could bring the state’s take to more tan $700 million from the current projects of $350 million. — Adam Fusfeld