Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – New Yorkers will hit the polls in just two weeks for Election Day, and this year the most heated contest is probably not even between any candidates.
Rather, New Yorkers will be asked to decide on legalizing casino gambling.
According to the latest Siena College Poll out this week, 49 percent favor a constitutional amendment to allow non-Indian Vegas-style casinos to 45 percent opposed, which is an increase over last month when the poll showed an even split.
The numbers are even more in favor when those polled were given the exact working that will appear on the ballot, which critics say is too slanted in favor of casinos, but was upheld by a state judge.
Supporters of Proposition One are lining up to push for passage of the measure kickstarted by Governor Cuomo, citing the millions of dollars it will bring in to local communities across the state in the form of education money – and property tax relief – not to mention jobs building and operating the casinos.
"Our members are sick of traveling out of state to get jobs. They'd love to stay in NYS and have the jobs,” said Vice President of Central and Northern New York Building Trades Ron Haney.
"To not fully take advantage of the jobs and the revenue and in fact losing revenue to other states I think is short sighted,” said State Senator Dave Valesky.
Valesky says New Yorkers spend $1 billion at casinos in neighboring states.
The measure would allow for up to four Upstate casinos, but none will be in Central New York.
The Oneida Nation has reached a deal with the governor giving it exclusive casino rights in a 10-county area in exchange for an estimated $50 million yearly payment.