By Tom Precious
ALBANY –- A group of gambling and union interests spent $4.2 million in a one-month period to push through a constitutional amendment authorizing up to seven new casinos in New York, new disclosure reports out this afternoon show.
New York Jobs Now, run out of the Business Council of New York state offices in Albany with advice from the Cuomo administration, spent $1.7 million in the final couple weeks before the Nov. 5 election on a television ad campaign aimed heavily at downstate voters.
The referendum passed 57 percent to 43 percent. Major donors included $750,000 from Genting New York, the Malaysian-based gambling company that runs a casino at Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, and $270,000 from a harness track/casino in Yonkers. Caesars Entertainment gave $100,000, and Bally Gaming donated $25,000. Unions also were major bankrollers of New York Jobs Now, which received $270,000 from a hotel workers’ union and $250,000 from a New York City-based teachers union.
Besides a last-minute round of television advertising, New York Jobs Now spent $595,000 on polling, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars on mailings and radio ads. It ended its casino expansion bid with $4,197 in the bank as of today’s final post-election filing with the state Board of Elections. In the 27-day post election report filed today, the group reported raising $2.1 million and spending $3.85 million. In its previous filing 11 days before the election, the group had reported raising $2 million and spending $361,000.
taggedAlbany | Andrew Cuomo