The head of the state’s largest business organization said her group is likely to partner with others to bankroll advertisements in favor of New York’s upcoming referendum on casinos, she told Gannett’s Albany Bureau on Wednesday.
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, said the effort will likely be run through a 501c4 organization, which would allow it to organize advocacy efforts and air issue-specific ads.
“I do expect us to be engaged in some paid advertising of some form,” Briccetti said from the Gannett Albany Bureau studio Wednesday.
Briccetti said the focus will be on getting people out to vote on the referendum in November, which — if passed by the voters — would change the state constitution to allow for up to seven casinos upstate. The Legislature also passed legislation which would site the first four casinos upstate for the first seven years.
“The voters who really need to be focused on the referendum are upstate,” Briccetti said. “We need to make sure that people are aware of it, that they get to the polling place and they cast their vote.”
While the casino plan is not a “silver bullet,” it is a potentially positive “component” for the upstate economy, Briccetti said.
“Why would we hamper ourselves from fully deploying that which is available to us?” she said. “We already have gaming in the state. Let’s take the artificial handcuffs off and go for it.”
Briccetti’s casino remarks are below. Her full chat with Bureau Chief Joseph Spector can be viewed here.