Former New York Governor David Patterson thinks that new casinos could be the Empire State’s ticket out of COVID-related financial catastrophe. As such, he’s promoting a plan that would see three new casinos in the state, but he’s going to need some serious political help if the plan is going to come to fruition.
Patterson, who served just two years as the state’s governor, revealed his casino expansion plan in an editorial that appeared in the Times-Union late last week. In the article, he lays out some of the basic facts that have led politicians across the country to embrace regulated gambling saying, “New York faces extraordinary pressure as lawmakers decide how to fill the state’s growing budget deficit…As I learned, in a time of budget distress, there are two options: Cut spending or raise revenue. With a hole this deep, we need to study every possible solution, because there is no silver bullet.”
He goes on to propose filling that void by issuing three new casino licenses in an effort to drum up revenue. Patterson suggests that the three new casinos would not only raise more than a billion in tax revenue, but would also create more than 100,000 jobs (including the workers building the facilities).
Patterson calls this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to raise tax revenues without raising taxes and without accepting federal assistance. Of course his assumption is that by the time the casinos are built, New Yorkers will be free to leave their apartments without the worry of COVID-induced death. It’s an idea that will likely be embraced by other governors as the pandemic grinds on.