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by Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 15, 2012

New York state lawmakers have agreed to legalize public casinos and will amend the state constitution to allow seven new casinos to operate, according to press reports. The location of the new gaming properties will be decided next year. The state will be able to legalize the casinos if two successively elected legislatures enact bills; the measure would then have to be approved by voters. New York currently only allows table gambling in Native American resorts. The state also allows companies to open and run video lottery terminals at two racetracks in the state, including Aqueduct in the New York City borough of Queens. The move to approve casino gambling has been championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed an agreement in January with Genting New York, the company that operates the Queens facility, for the latter to invest $4 billion to build a 3.8 million-square-foot convention center, hotel and expanded casino on the 67-acre site.