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Backers, critics debate NY casino plan at forum
NEW YORK (AP) - Opponents of New York state's plans to expand casino gambling say it will further impoverish people struggling to make ends meet. But supporters say the plan would generate needed money and jobs.
A panel of politicians and citizens argued the pros and cons of gaming Monday, ahead of a Nov. 5 ballot referendum. Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants voters to approve seven new casinos built off Indian land.
Republican state Sen. John Bonacic (Boh-NAS'-ick) says expanding gambling would create jobs and tax revenue for other needs, including schools.
But David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values counters that more casinos would simply exploit vulnerable people. He notes some people are addicted to gambling, and others spend money they don't have.
The nonpartisan Citizens Budget Committee sponsored Monday's forum in Manhattan.