Mayor Bill de Blasio seemingly cracked the door open to a possible casino in the Big Apple on Tuesday, just hours after it emerged that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was floating the proposal as a way to patch the state’s budget.
Hizzoner’s remarks came amid fierce private pushback to Cuomo’s proposal from top Manhattan state lawmakers, who have fiercely opposed the gaming industry’s bid to bring full-fledged gambling to normally bustling Midtown.
“I think the Legislature is being very smart about this,” de Blasio said during his daily press conference at City Hall. “They clearly value local land use decision-making and the rights of localities to have a say.”
“I’ve always been clear about the fact that I think there’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to casinos — and we need to be very careful about how we approach things,” he added. “But, we’ll work with whatever the state legislation does.”
De Blasio’s remarks came just hours after The Post obtained a copy of the proposed bill language, which would establish a commission to examine the expansion of gambling in the five boroughs.
City Hall and the Manhattan delegation would have no direct appointments to the 20-person panel.
Instead, Cuomo, state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) and state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) would each appoint five members. And those 15 members would select the remaining five panelists.
And while Manhattan was never mentioned, operators have long sought to build a casino in the tourist heart of the city — despite fierce opposition from locals.
“I’m 100 percent, 1,000 percent against it,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “As are all of the Manhattan elected officials that I’ve been talking to about it. We’ve all been talking about how to prevent it from happening.”
“It really is a terrible idea, just awful,” she added.
New York is already home to one “racino” at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, where it’s legal to operate slots but gambling tables are still barred.
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