For the last year Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been one of the largest obstacles to a casino opening in New York City. According to the New York Daily News, Silver has softened his stance on gambling in the city, but still won’t stand for one in Manhattan. Acknowledging the revenue generating potential of such an attraction, a source close to Silver said the speaker is open to allowing a casino in a destination area rather than in densely populated parts of the city.
Three sites Silver would support are Coney Island, Willets Point and the Aqueduct Racetrack. A source told the News that the Bloomberg Administration is pushing for one in Willets Point, although a spokesperson to the mayor denied that was the case.
Regardless, getting Silver on board for a casino in the city is another major step forward in the state’s efforts to legalize gambling. The Legislature already opened the door to an amendment legalizing casino gambling and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is known to support the initiative. [NYDN]