Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reiterated today his call for the Legislature having a role in where three casinos would be placed north of the New York City metropolitan area.

The fight over casino placement — should a Constitutional amendment pass in Albany and then be approved by the voters — is a potentially lucrative one for lobbyists and lawmakers should they have some say in the process.

But Silver, D-Manhattan, told our NY1 colleague Zack Fink that having a gaming commission control the casino placement wouldn’t do local communities justice necessarily.

“I’m fine if his independent casino commission, if it’s truly independent, I don’t need members of the Legislature to be on it,” Silver said. “I do think members of the Legislature should have a roll in determining what goes into their communities. They know their communities better than any commission, better than any commission that the governor can appoint.”

Cuomo wants to expand casino gambling in New York beyond those controlled by American Indian tribes and plans to submit legislation that will allow for up to three casinos in the upstate region.

Operators of so-called “racinos” in Yonkers and Saratoga Springs are already pushing for the casinos in their communities.

But the governor has said the casinos should be placed on a competitive bidding process and with an indication from local residents that a casino is wanted.

Cuomo also believes that involving the Legislature could inject politics in the casino placement — an assertion that Silver disagrees with.

“I think the governor and the Legislature are all part of the political process, so I really don’t understand how that makes a distinction,” he said.

Silver will sit down with Liz on Capital Tonight this evening for the show airing at 8 and 11:30.

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