n New York, the lottery has been funding plenty of programs over the years. From education to other governmental spending, the lottery has been a revenue stream that has been as important as any in the state.
"Usually when new casinos come into a state, there is the fear that other gaming avenues will suffer," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "This is a normal fear, and one that is usually alleviated once the new casinos open and officials see that there is plenty of gambling money to go around."
The casinos themselves are also concerned with possible competition, although their competition will come mainly from other Northeastern states. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Maine will all compete directly with New York for gambling customers on the East Coast. Massachusetts may also soon become a player in the casino industry.
The biggest casino coming to New York will be the one at Aqueduct. Casino gambling was approved for Aqueduct a decade ago, but for ten years lawmakers have been unable to find a suitable operator of the casino. Finally, earlier this year, after many failed attempts, a developer was chosen to run the Aqueduct casino property.
The New York Lottery may have something much bigger to be concerned with in the near future. Lawmakers in Washington are considering regulating online gambling and giving casinos that have been in operation for at least five years the right to obtain an Internet gaming license. Individual states would have the option of exempting themselves from the online gaming law.