Cuomo Flacks for Casinos


Gambling interests contributed $2 million in December 2011 to a group “closely allied” with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who now seeks to expand gambling in the state and open seven new casinos. According to the New York Times:

Genting, a subsidiary of Southeast Asia’s largest gambling company, made an additional contribution of approximately $400,000 to the group allied with Mr. Cuomo during 2011. The New York Gaming Association, a trade group founded by Genting and other companies that operate racetracks and electronic slot machines, chipped in the $2 million. …

The contributions went to the Committee to Save New York, a business and labor coalition that raised $17 million and spent nearly $12 million in 2011, much of it on campaign-style television and radio advertisements praising Mr. Cuomo and supporting his proposals to cap property taxes and slash state spending.

Founded by real estate developers and business executives at Mr. Cuomo’s urging shortly after he was elected governor, the committee has rapidly become the biggest spender on lobbying in Albany, providing not only critical backing for Mr. Cuomo but also a counterweight to the labor unions whose money and political muscle have traditionally dominated the Capitol.

This is not the first time Cuomo has supported policies that would benefit his wealthy benefactors. Cuomo also seeks to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant in upstate New York, claiming safety concerns. Indian Point’s closure would benefit Cuomo campaign donors who back a competitor to the plant. Indian Point recently passed another safety test “with flying colors” in May.