Posted on: July 21, 2021, 2:42 a.m.
Last update on: July 21, 2021, 2:55 a.m.
In one the Wall Street newspaper As reported on Wednesday, casino and racetrack owner Jeff Gural made it clear what he thinks about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Gural is one of Cuomo’s former campaign contributors interviewed in The newspaper article. History shows how vulnerable the three-term Democrat can be as he prepares for re-election next year. The keyword in that previous sentence is old, as the owner of Tioga Downs said he was done with reports Cuomo sexually harassed several women and the state’s handling of mobile sports betting.
He’s smart, but he’s a bully and his tactics are a disgrace, ”Gural said. “And people should know how he runs the state.”
Cuomo is currently under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment, which include accusations of current and former employees, as well as women outside of his administration. These accounts led several prominent New York Democrats to call for his resignation.
But that’s just one of the inquiries that popped up last year. Federal authorities are reviewing how his office handled nursing home policies and data during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been questions about the use of state personnel and resources for a book he wrote on managing the pandemic. He received $ 5 million for the book.
In addition, state lawmakers are also examining these and other issues as part of their own investigation that could lead to his impeachment.
Cuomo loses money and support
According to New York State Council of Elections records, Gural made 21 contributions to Cuomo’s campaigns totaling $ 212,000 dating back to 2002. His last recorded contribution to Cuomo was made on January 5, weeks ago. before many women presented their harassment allegations against the governor.
Gural isn’t the only donor to no longer support Cuomo. The newspaper reported that the besieged incumbent had obtained $ 2.3 million for the first half of the year. This represents the second smallest report he has made as governor.
The newspaper notes that he still has over $ 18 million in his campaign war chest. However, he’ll likely need all of this and more if he ends up running for a fourth term next year. This is because it is not just losing big donors. He is also losing the support of voters.
In an April 2020 poll in Siena, 77% of New York voters had a favorable opinion of the governor. Last month, as scandals and investigations continued to wreak havoc, only 45% favored it, compared with 47% who did not.
Worse yet, only 35% said they would vote to re-elect Cuomo. Only 33 percent even want him to show up next year.
This political instability has also spread to commercial markets. At PredictIt, traders are confident that Cuomo will not be impeached or resigned by September 1. And with yes stocks trading at 88 cents, the market still sees it operating on December 31.
But traders are less certain that he will even be the Democratic candidate for governor next year. Cuomo still leads that market, but his shares on Wednesday afternoon were only trading at 40 cents. Shares of New York Attorney General Letitia James were at 33 cents.
New York casinos lose in mobile sports betting plan
The article does not detail Gural’s aversion to the state’s plan for mobile sports betting. However, as a casino owner, he was clearly likely to benefit more from an online skin proposal that lawmakers had pursued for years. This would have allowed Tioga Downs to work with FanDuel, its retail sports betting partner and one of the largest mobile operators in the United States. The casino probably could have partnered up with one or two other betting apps as well.
Instead, under the deal made between lawmakers and Cuomo in the budget, mobile operators will apply directly to the state for licenses through a rather complex solicitation process that was launched earlier this month. The governor compared this approach to the way the state contracts with lottery operators. He also believes it will help the state ultimately generate $ 500 million in revenue per year.
“We will contract with them and we will earn money ”, Cuomo said at an April 5 press conference. “We don’t need casinos as intermediaries. “
As part of the state’s plan, Tioga Downs and the other three commercially licensed casinos in the upstate will receive $ 5 million in annual payments to host online servers. Casinos will get the money even if they don’t host an online server.
Gural also shared with The newspaper how the administration treated the state’s racing industry. A decade ago, as some racing executives sought to bring full-fledged commercial casinos to New York City, Gural said Cuomo and his staff used bullying tactics to threaten track licenses. This prompted them to donate $ 2 million to a pro-Cuomo campaign fund.
On Twitter Wednesday morning, Rich Azzopardi, director of communications and senior advisor to Cuomo, responded to a tweet promoting the article saying that Gural, who is the CEO and managing partner of the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, had a task to accomplish.
“Not for nothing, but quoted in this article (is)… a pissed off casino owner with more interests in New Jersey who is crazy that our sports betting laws benefit NYers, not him,” Cuomo’s spokesperson said.