Three new casinos will generate $1.5 billion for New York State: Former Governor Paterson

Three new casinos will generate $1.5 billion for New York State: Former Governor Paterson

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo just needs to speed up the state’s casino plans and issue licenses for three new casinos to pull the state out of the massive economic hole caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, former Governor David Paterson suggested.

According to Paterson, who served two years as New York governor, allowing three new casino licenses to be issued for downstate operations would give the state an immediate, much-needed injection of an estimated $1.5 billion.

It may be noted here that NYS, like any other state in the US, has long been trying to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has, thus far, failed to get out of the pandemic’s clutches.

Now, Paterson penned a piece of op-ed that was recently published in the Times Union, suggesting that Gov. Cuomo and other lawmakers of the state should pull the trigger on a plan to generate $1.5 billion in revenue, and $900 million in recurring revenue, in addition to creation of a larger number of jobs.

As per the former democratic governor, issuing licenses for three new casinos would generate as many as 120,000 new direct and indirect jobs in addition to 70,000 construction jobs and career training opportunities. The new casinos are also expected to produce more than $11 billion and $7.5 billion in employee wages and new investment capital, respectively.

In the op-ed, Paterson wrote, “Nighborhoods have been decimated and need to be rebuilt… We can be smart and find new revenue streams — like awarding the three remaining downstate casino licenses, resulting in an immediate influx of $1.5 billion and new union jobs.”

He explained that the other option, i.e., cutting spending, is not viable in the current scenario as state residents are already reeling under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

As Paterson has ties to casino operating firm Las Vegas Sands (LVS), which has had its eyes on NYS for years, it is but natural for him to suggest the state lawmakers to pave way for new casino licenses. He ruled the state from March 2008 to December 2010, after Eliot Spitzer stepped down as governor because of a prostitution scandal.

NYS voters voted in favor of the casino plans that proposed to allow gambling expansion in the state in 2013. As per those plans, there would be four upstate casinos and three downstate casinos. While the upstate casinos are already up and running, lawmakers decided to block the development of downstate casinos until 2023 in order to support the upstate venues.