Giglio: Constitutional Amendment for Casino Gambling Would Hurt Western New Yorkers

Statement by Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio (R,I,C-Gowanda)

The casino gaming constitutional amendment legislation that was passed tonight by the Legislature is a dangerous bill that may have damaging effects not just for Western New Yorkers but for all citizens of this state. The legislation offers few specifics – it is vague, open-ended, lacks site specificity with respect to the number of potential casinos that can be built anywhere in the state, and ignores binding legal contracts with Native Americans in which the State has agreed to that ultimately must be respected and upheld. Without any legal protections and lack of exclusivity rights currently afforded to existing casino operators, state government once again takes us down a slippery slope of uncertainty.

This proposed amendment lacks the oversight, detail and thoughtfulness that should be used when considering any amendment to our Constitution. Detail and careful consideration are being trumped by carelessness and convenience that will inevitably strengthen the ability of the State to siphon revenue from existing casinos. I adamantly oppose this measure, and I will work diligently to protect the citizens of New York State by voting against it. As this proposal will ultimately go before the voters, I would encourage everyone to vote against this damaging legislation.