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Last minute rush of money flows to pro-casino group

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- In a sign it could be worried about next Tuesday's casino referendum, a pro-gambling political committee raised $675,000 in just one day on Thursday, new filings with the state elections board show.

The NY Jobs Now group, whose biggest donors are gambling companies and unions, has raised a total of $3.65 million in the past four weeks. It has at least two ads running statewide and is flooding mailboxes with campaign literature. The $3.65 million does not include hundreds of thousands of dollars in other money being spent on individual, pro-casino campaigns by several companies and union get-out-the-vote efforts. (An anti-casino group on Thursday began running its first and only ad on a single downstate TV channel.)

The latest donors to the pro-casino group, which has been getting advice from advisers to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, gave at the rate of $28,000 an hour on Thursday.

The donations included $270,000 from a hotel workers union and $250,000 from Genting New York. Genting, which runs a big casino at Aqueduct racetrack in Queens and is thought to be interested in developing a casino in the Catskills if the casino expansion referendum passes next week, had previously given $500,000 to NY Jobs Now. Genting is part of a Malaysian-based casino company.

How and where the group is spending all the cash won't be known precisely until early December when more complete disclosure forms next have to be filed with the elections board.

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Albany | Andrew Cuomo
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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