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Cuomo says proposed casinos would draw tourists upstate

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During his State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered more details on a plan for casino gambling in New York state. If the governor gets his way, the proposed new casinos would come to upstate first.

After Cuomo first proposed full-scale casino gambling during last year's State of the State address, the focus was on a casino in Queens, at the Aqueduct Racetrack. But that plan appears to have fallen through.

In the renewed call for casino gambling, the first phase would include up to three casinos, all located upstate. Cuomo described it as a way to attract the 50 million tourists that visit New York City every year to the rest of the state.

“I believe if they visit, they will come back and they will stay but we have to get them there,” said Cuomo.

The state's gaming commission would choose the three locations. Legalized casinos need an amendment to the state constitution, requiring two legislatures to pass it and a referendum, which Cuomo said could happen in November.

The five casinos currently operating upstate are all controlled by Indian Nations.

Matt Richmond comes to Binghamton's WSKG, a WRVO partner station in the Innovation Trail consortium, from South Sudan, where he worked as a stringer for Bloomberg, and freelanced for Radio France International, Voice of America, and German Press Agency dpa. He has worked with KQED in Los Angeles, Cape Times in Cape Town, South Africa, and served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon. Matt's masters in journalism is from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC.