Gov. Andrew Cuomo has received over $361 thousand dollars from pro gambling groups, while the Legislature has raked in more than $1 million from gambling interests leading up to the Nov. 5 casino referendum which is being challenged in court.
According to a report from Common Cause of New York, $3.3 million in campaign contributions have been directed to elected leaders in Albany from 2011 to this past July.
The report suggests that the gambling lobby prompted the governor and legislative leaders to change the wording of the November referendum to an unusually rosy tone, promising seven Las Vegas-style casinos in New York will bring lower taxes, more school aid and more jobs — all of which are disputed.
Common Cause says, the referendum makes no mention of the addiction and other social ills associated with gambling.
Common Cause plans to provide a legal brief in support of a lawsuit in state Supreme Court challenging the re-wording of the referendum.
The law enacting the gambling referendum had once prohibited campaign contributions from gambling interests. But that was dropped during closed-door negotiations.