Cuomo spiked the idea of building the money meccas in Manhattan.
Hours after the Legislature took the first steps toward legalizing Las Vegas-style casinos in the Empire State, Gov.
“We want to create destination locations that are not just casinos,” Cuomo told reporters Thursday.
“Hotels, entertainment, etc., large physical plants, creation of hundreds of jobs — and that’s not Manhattan,” continued Cuomo, noting that influential Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver opposes casinos on the island.
The Legislature, in a session that stretched into the early morning hours Thursday, gave first approval to a constitutional amendment that would allow up to seven non-Indian casinos in New York.
The amendment must be approved by lawmakers again in 2013 — and by the public in a referendum before it can be enacted.
Cuomo said no discussions have been held on where to locate the casinos.
He has previously said, however, that the Aqueduct racino — which is the site of a proposed convention center — would be a suitable spot.
“I think we can use them as regional revitalization tools,” Cuomo said of casinos.
“I don’t think we need one in Manhattan to do that.” The gambling amendment was approved during a marathon legislative session that began Wednesday morning and stretched into Thursday morning’s rush hour.
Lawmakers not only tackled gambling, but also legislative redistricting and expansion of the state’s DNA database and a pension reform bill that’s projected to save the city $21 billion.
“All in all, we did the people’s business,” Cuomo crowed about the approval of key portions of his agenda.