ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a referendum on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to authorize seven more casinos in New York, ruling it was filed too late.
The suit by Brooklyn lawyer Eric Snyder contested the language of the Nov. 5 ballot proposition, claiming it was biased in favor of approval. It was reworded by the Cuomo administration and legislative leaders to promise benefits including jobs, lower taxes and school aid without mentioning any potential downside to casinos, including problem gambling and crime.
Acting Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin released his decision Wednesday. Snyder says he'll appeal the ruling.
The state successfully argued the lawsuit was filed too late. The Board of Elections didn't post the new wording to its website until Aug. 23, days after the deadline to file a suit.
"If the government hadn't put their thumb on the scale in support of casino interests this would never have come up and if New York state law was so inadequate this problem wouldn't have existed in advance," said NYPIRG's Blair Horner.
The casino referendum rests in the hands of voters, with polls showing a clear majority support it.
Under Governor Cuomo's framework, the state was divided into different regions -- those with Indian reserves that already have a casino have signed into exclusivity compacts and are out of the running. That leaves three regions and a total of four casinos. The Saratoga Casino and Raceway wants to be one of them.
"We're already up and running and we can have a full casino operational more quickly than anyone else can, thereby creating more jobs and more revenue for the state very quickly," said Rita Cox, Senior VP of Marketing Saratoga Casino and Raceway