Roughly one month before Election Day, a new poll sheds light on how voters feel about a referendum to legalize casino gambling in New York State. YNN's Matt Hunter has more on why supporters think the poll is a positive sign.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Executives at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway greeted the results of the latest Siena Research Institute poll with a smile Monday.
"We're very pleased with the results of the poll," said Rita Cox, the Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s senior vice president of marketing.
Respondents were split down the middle at 46 percent when asked whether they would support an amendment to allow Las Vegas style casinos in New York. However, when given the actual language of the referendum on the November ballot, which asks whether they'd "allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos," a strong majority of 55 percent said they'd vote "yes," while just 42 said "no."
"They [results] clearly show that New Yorkers when they understand the issue and when they understand what the amendment means, they're very much in support of the amendment," Cox said.
"You put in the wording that voters actually see when voters are casting their ballot, there's no question it has a positive effect in terms of moving voters to the support side," said Steve Greenberg of the Siena Research Institute.
The poll's results varied only slightly region to region. Many in Saratoga have long been hopeful the racino, which already houses hundreds of video slot and poker machines, will be chosen as a future casino site.
"I think voters in the areas of where they're likely to be are perhaps more aware of that than the downstate voters," Greenberg said.
Governor Cuomo has yet to identify where the casinos would be built if the referendum passes. While that's left some concerned a site in a neighboring community could be chosen over Saratoga, racino executives remain confident they can offer the most attractive bid.
"We already have expansion plans in progress and we can start generating substantial revenue for the state and start providing hundreds of jobs very quickly," Cox said.