In only TV ad, casino opponents wield Mario Cuomo’s words against his son
Opponents of Governor Andrew Cuomo's bid to legalize full-scale casino gambling in New York State are using his father's words against him.
In the Committee Against Proposition 1's first and only TV ad, a narrator shares former Governor Mario Cuomo's thoughts on casino gambling: "There is a respectable body of economic thought that holds that casino gambling is actually economically regressive to a state and a community. Casinos are a whole different breed. It changes communities. It does not generate wealth, it just redistributes it."
"Mario Cuomo didn't support changing the New York State constitution to allow Las Vegas-style casinos," a narrator goes on. "He knew gambling was a bad bet for New York. Vote with Cuomo. Vote 'no' on Proposition 1."
On Tuesday, New York State will vote on a ballot referendum that would amend the constitution to allow up to seven full-scale, Las Vegas-style casinos in New York.
The ad will run from Friday to Tuesday on NY1, according to Joseph Rappaport, the committee's spokesman. He didn't disclose how much the ad cost or who paid for it. But he did say the committee might also run an ad on the radio.
The much better funded proponents of casino gambling have thus far run three ads statewide, including two new ones released today.
UPDATE: In a statement, Mario Cuomo said "a great deal has changed" since he made those comments in 1994, namely that New York is now "surrounded by states that have casino gaming," and he urged voters to support the proposition. Here's the full statement:
“I made those statements in 1994. A great deal has changed in 20 years. The New York that I was dealing with was a different place. We didn’t have casinos on every border. Gaming was only in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
“Today couldn’t be more different. Now we have ‘racinos’ throughout the state which were essentially a circumvention of the Constitution - without real regulation, protections or fair distribution of revenues. And today New York is surrounded by states that have casino gaming - and casinos are a short drive from anywhere in the state. So New York has to compete with out of state gaming.
“Proposal One will keep $1.2 billion in gaming revenue and thousands of jobs in our state by allowing regulated casino development. And these developments would be part of resort destinations in upstate New York where jobs are needed.
“So if you want to vote with Cuomo, Vote Yes on Proposal One."