Pluralities of Voters Support Casinos in Catskills and Southern Tier

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This Poll Must Be Cited As: The Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll
Pluralities of Voters Support Casinos in Catskills & Southern Tier; Closely Divided over Capital Region
See Jobs, Revenue for Local Govt. as Benefits; Concerned about Traffic, Crime, Services Drain
Most Think State will See Both Positives and Negatives Long-term as Result of Casino Development

Loudonville, NY., Nearly eight months after approving a constitutional amendment allowing Upstate casino development to move forward, voters across the three regions earmarked for new casinos support the development of a casino in the Catskills/Hudson Valley region by 48 to 35 percent, in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region by 45 to 36 percent, but are closely divided, 44 to 40 percent towards the Capital Region according to a new Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll of registered voters. Local job creation cited by 40 percent and tax revenue for local governments (29 percent) are, according to voters, the biggest benefits.

Voters see traffic problems as the biggest disadvantage to having a casino in their region followed by increased crime, draining local resources in order to service the casino, and demeaning the character of the region. Despite over seventy percent agreeing both that casinos will create thousands of jobs and bring in significant new revenues for New York State and local governments, only 37 percent think a local casino will benefit the people of their region and 61 percent believe that in five years the decision to pass the casino amendment will find the state seeing both positives and negatives rather than a clear cut win or loss.

“Right now, voters in the three regions slated for new casinos are willing to gamble on them. Overwhelmingly they hope for new jobs and help with tax revenues. While many expect the new casinos to make their area a better place, the majority will wait and see,” said Don Levy, SRI’s Director.

This Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll was conducted July 20 – 23, 2014 by telephone calls to 816 registered voters from the three upstate New York regions of the Capital Region, the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region and the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points for the composite overall area and margins of error for the individual regions of +/- 5.9 Capital Region, +/- 5.9 Catskills/Hudson and +/- 6.0 Southern Tier/Finger Lakes. Data was statistically adjusted by age, gender and party to ensure representativeness. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in New York State. SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, call Don Levy at 518-783-2901. For survey cross-tabs and frequencies:

Capital Region – Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington Counties
Catskills/Hudson Valley – Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties
Southern Tier/Finger Lakes – Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga, Tompkins and Wayne Counties

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