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Voters Have Mixed Feelings About Expansion of Gambling Upstate According to New Poll

Voters across New York have mixed feelings about the expansion of casino gambling Upstate.

A new Time Warner Cable/Siena College Poll surveyed voters in the three regions earmarked for new casinos.

Those questioned say they support a Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region casino by a margin of 45 to 36 percent, according to Siena Research Institute director Don Levy. "However, when we say 'Do you think it's going to benefit the region?' a lot of people simply say, 'You know what, I don't know. The jury's still out.' 43 percent think it's going to benefit the people of the region. 29 percent don't think so."

Levy says the top concerns people have about casinos in their community range from increased traffic and crime to worries about a drain on local services.

On the positive side, residents are hoping the casinos boost the economy through new jobs and increased tax revenue. "We know that we're talking about potentially several thousand jobs in the local area. We continue to see people who are unemployed or underemployed. So the idea of new, good-paying jobs is really attractive," Levy said.

In addition to the Finger Lakes/Southern Tier, casinos are planned in the Catskills/Hudson Valley and Capital regions.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.