By Tom Precious
ALBANY -- Here's a new worry for the gambling industry. The legal challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's casino expansion plan that is being heard Friday by a state judge threatens to derail not just the seven casinos sought by the governor, but also the back-up plan for four new video lottery terminal facilities.
A case brought by a Brooklyn commercial bankruptcy attorney over the process by which the state drafted the ballot language will be heard Friday morning by acting Supreme Court Judge Richard Platkin, who served former Gov. George Pataki throughout his administration, including nearly four years as his counsel. (Pataki last week made public amends with Cuomo when he agreed to join a panel to devise tax cut ideas).
If the courts knock the casino measure off the ballot, as is being sought by lawyer Eric Snyder, Cuomo's Plan B is also in jeopardy. That Plan B calls for four video lottery terminal facilities -- one apiece in Nassau County, the Albany area, the Mid-Hudson/Catskills region and the eastern part of the Southern Tier -- to still be developed even if the broader casino referendum is defeated.
The VLT parlors will be allowed "in the event that an amendment to the constitution to authorize casino gambling is defeated,'' the law states.
Key word: "defeated.'' If the courts kill the ballot initiative, the proposal will not have a chance to be defeated or approved by voters. And the VLT back-up plan, then, would die as well.
taggedAlbany | Andrew Cuomo