Casino resorts plan approved by New York state board

Advocates celebrate nod after intense lobbying for full-scale gambling as salve for region's economic woes

New York

ONE of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature initiatives - the expansion of gambling in the state - took a major step forward on Wednesday when a state board recommended the approval of Las Vegas-style casino resorts in the Catskill Mountains, near Albany and on the northern end of the Finger Lakes.

The resorts - which would include casinos, boutique hotels, spas, luxury restaurants, golf courses and other amenities - are expected to provide thousands of jobs in distressed parts of the state and, according to one estimate, generate more than US$300 million in new tax revenues.

But New York is entering an intensively competitive gambling industry in the Northeast with lagging returns...

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