Another Politically-Motivated Economic Development Scheme Falling Apart as Predicted
New Casino Interests Donated $2 Million to Pro-Cuomo Committee; Now Begging for Cuomo Bailout
New York–March 28th…Governor Cuomo’s ill-fated scheme to place casinos in an oversaturated market is crashing and burning as predicted, making this just the latest in a string of failed economic development disasters designed to bolster Cuomo’s re-election rather than fix Upstate’s economy.
Leading up to his 2014 reelection campaign, Cuomo created sweeping pay-to-play economic development schemes designed to flood his campaign coffers with millions in donations from special interests and generate positive publicity that he was turning Upstate’s economy around. Start-up New York, the Buffalo Billion and legalizing casino gambling were among these initiatives. All three–and more– are failing ,with the Buffalo Billion and a project in Syracuse, leading to federal indictments. Cuomo’s closest aide and “enforcer” was just convicted on felony corruption charges related to the Syracuse project.
As Cuomo was pushing for legalized casino gambling (despite casinos collapsing in nearby New Jersey), his allied group The Committee to Save New York raised
$2 million from interested casino developers used to fund television ads praising the Governor. The now-defunct group’s ties to the Governor was the subject of investigation and closed down. Furthermore, for political reasons, the Cuomo-controlled gaming commission delayed its licensing decisions until after the Governor’s election.
All three of the Governor’s chosen casinos are falling far short of revenue projections, and now Del Lago is asking for a state bailout. In January, Moody’s downgraded their credit rating and warned of potential debt default.
Senator Joe Griffo, a member of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, sent a letter
today to Cuomo urging against a taxpayer-funded bailout for a private casino corporation. Cuomo had promised no taxpayer dollars would be dedicated to funding the casinos.
“Governor Cuomo’s casino scheme was a $2 million pay-to-play operation destined to fail,” said NYGOP Chairman Ed Cox. “All the warning signs were there: an oversaturated market and a collapsing industry in New Jersey, but rather than do the hard work of fixing New York’s economy, the Governor opted for flashy reelection headlines and filling his campaign coffers. Now a taxpayer bailout would be unconscionable.”