Updated 01/09/2013 10:51 PM
Upstate casinos a "good bet" says the Governor
The governor’s speech drew a cheer from those backers of bringing casino gambling to the area. Our Christian Farrell was in Sullivan County where the idea of casino gambling has been rumored for a long, long time.
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MONTICELLO, N.Y. - "We propose a casino plan to boost upstate development," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address in Albany is a big winner for Sullivan County, according to Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, a man who almost four decades ago began a quest to bring casino gambling to the county.
"I've been anxiously waiting for a day like this would happen. And I think we're closer now than ever. He has a reputation of, if he champions a cause, it happens to go through. And that's what we're hoping for," said Cellini.
What the governor says he's betting on is the construction of three upstate casinos as state money makers.
"I believe casinos in Upstate New York could be a great magnet to bring the New York City traffic up. They now go to New Jersey, Connecticut. Why don't we bring them to Upstate New York," said Cuomo.
In the governor's proposed gambling expansion plan, a gaming commission would ultimately be responsible for picking the casino locations.
Cellini says he likes Sullivan County's odds of becoming home to a future upstate casino.
"We have Senator John Bonacic who chairs racing and wagering in the New York State Senate. He's been a real champion for us in Sullivan County. And I'm sure he'll continue to do so," said Cellini.
There are still obstacles that could crap out the casino plan. State lawmakers must still approve a state constitution amendment legalizing a total of seven state casinos beyond Indian owned land. That vote is expected to take place in 2013.
Voters then will have the final say on state gambling practices in a November referendum. To which Monticello resident Al Dumas has this to say.
"I remember an old quote my dad use to say. It's not always when you want it. But it's always on time," said Dumas.
In some places, perhaps 40 years late, is in fact "on time" for casino gambling.