New Yorkers Support New Casino Licenses

Kathy Hochul New York Governor Casino Background
Earlier this month, New York lawmakers were finally able to agree on a budget for the new fiscal year. The approved plan called for the remaining three casino licenses to be distributed a year early. It also included less popular measures, such as the funding for a new NFL stadium.

Recently, the Siena College Research Institute set out to see how voters felt about the new budget. The SCRI is located in Loudonville, NY, and surveyed over 800 voters in the poll. The pool of responders was from all over the Empire State. The survey lasted over three days, it ran from the 18th to the 21st of this month.

According to their results, voters are in favor of the new casinos. Male voters were especially in favor of the move. However, the same cannot be said about the funding for the Bills’ new stadium. Even voters in Western New York appear to be against it based on the survey’s results.

Voters Polled for Opinions on New York Budget

The SCRI was founded in 1980 and is an affiliate of the nearby Siena College. It conducts research regarding public policy using both public and expert opinion polls. Past topics have included health care, education, and historical issues.

For this poll, the SCRI used a 32-question survey to gauge voters’ support for the newly approved fiscal budget. In total, there were 806 responders to the SCRI survey. New York lawmakers created a stir when they failed to pass the budget on time. The budget that was finally agreed on included multiple controversial measures.

The two major measures in the budget involved casinos and a new football stadium. Proponents of retail gaming had been pushing for the three remaining casino licenses to be issued a year early. They claim that it will help the economy recover from the pandemic. The other measure was $600 million in funding for a new Buffalo Bills stadium.

Poll Shows Support for New Casinos

According to results from the SCRI poll, New Yorkers are mostly in favor of the new casino licenses. The poll showed that 46% of responders approved of the measure. On the other hand, only 35% of registered voters opposed the new plan.

The remaining 19% either had mixed or no opinion on the issue. When you break down the results further, 52% of Democrats supported the early release of the new casino licenses. Meanwhile, only 31% of Democrats who responded were against it. In the GOP, 41% of responders supported the new plan and only 35% opposed it.

The results from the poll also show strong support from male voters. According to SCRI, 54% of male voters were in favor of the move. New York’s remaining three casino licenses are reserved for downstate venues. As a result, it is not surprising that voters in Upstate New York were mostly against the new casinos.

New Yorkers Do Not Support New Buffalo Stadium Funding

Voters appear to be in favor of expediting the new casino licenses. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the funding of Buffalo’s new stadium. New York agreed to pay $600 million for the new stadium, which is roughly 42% of the cost. In total, the new stadium is projected to cost $1.4 billion.

According to the SCRI poll, only 24% of voters were in favor of the measure. Meanwhile, 63% of registered voters said they were opposed to funding the new stadium. The remaining 13% of voters either had mixed feelings or no opinion on the issue.

Breaking down the SCRI results further shows just how opposed voters are to the new stadium. Regardless of the demographic group, at least 55% of voters were against funding the new stadium. Even voters in Western New York were not in favor of the move. In NY’s 13 westernmost counties, only 31% of voters supported it. On the other hand, 65% of voters in those counties were against funding the new stadium.


The newly approved fiscal budget for New York is not off to a hot start. After the budget was passed, the SCRI conducted a poll to gauge voters’ support for the plan. The study was conducted over three days and had more than 800 responders.

According to their results, most voters were in favor of approving three licenses for downstate casinos. However, voters were largely against the funding of a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. The criticism of the stadium funding existed in all voting demographics.