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Voters approve Las Vegas-style casinos

casino referendum Credit: Getty Images

New York voters approved on Tuesday an amendment to the state constitution that authorizes the construction of up to seven Las Vegas-style casinos.

With most precincts reporting, 57 percent of voters approved the measure, according to the Board of Elections.

"The passage of Proposal One is a big win for local governments, school districts and taxpayers across New York State," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

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"This vote will keep hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year in neighboring states right here in New York, while increasing revenue for local schools, lowering property taxes and bringing proper regulation to the industry," he said.

Under the plan, the first four casinos would all be upstate. A New York City casino wouldn't be allowed for at least another seven years.

Cuomo and other supporters have said the new casinos will add jobs and attract tourists, revitalizing the upstate economy.

In addition, cities and townships across the state are expected to benefit from increased education aid or lower property taxes from the tax revenue the casinos will bring in. New York City has been promised more than $94 million in tax revenue for city schools.

Opponents have argued that casinos would bring social ills to local areas, such as gambling addiction.

Some voters on Tuesday told Metro they are skeptical about the economic benefits the casinos would bring, while others said they believe the new casinos would definitely increase jobs and revenue.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has expressed support for the measure, calling it a "win-win for New York."

"Our neighbors upstate will benefit from the jobs created, and New York City will receive new revenue to support education," de Blasio said in the statement.

 
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