The New York Lottery will permit state-run casinos to add video roulette, baccarat, craps and blackjack next year even if the Assembly fails to authorize the move.
"We are ready to move forward now," said New York Lottery Deputy Director Bill Murray. "We don't think we need the legislation."
Murray, who also is general counsel for the Lottery, announced the state's plan to allow video versions of traditional casino table games today during 8th annual New York Gaming Summit at the Gideon Putnam hotel and conference center in Saratoga Springs.
The state Senate passed a bill earlier this month that would have permitted the video table games, but the Assembly has yet to act. Murray said it is unclear whether the Assembly was planning to pass the bill before the end of session.
If opponents challenge the Lottery decision to permit the gains without new legislation, Murray said he is confident the state would win because the video table games are games of chance just like slot machines.
The decision to permit eight state-run casinos, which includes Fairgrounds in Hamburg and Batavia Downs, to introduce video table games could — by some accounts — boost annual state revenue by as much as $250 million a year, Murray said. Although he believes that estimate is high.
Aqueduct thoroughbred track in Queens, which has been authorized to house 4,500 slot machines or video lottery terminals, also would be permitted to install video versions of roulette, baccarat, craps and blackjack.
Delaware North Cos. Inc. of Buffalo is one of seven companies have filed bids to develop a casino and hotel complex at Aqueduct.
Murray said the state is hoping to choose an operator for the Aqueduct slots by Aug. 1.
It's the second time that the contract to build an entertainment racino or casino has been bid. An initial deal collapsed amid the recession and restricted credit markets.
Gov. David Paterson and the leaders of each legislative chamber must agree who should win the bid to operate Aqueduct slots.
The project's 4,500 slot machines or video lottery terminals are expected to generate $450 million a year in revenue.