A tax parity addition to the casino expansion legislation led to the state’s top lobbying organization for racinos to back the measure, reversing its earlier skepticism over the plan.

The New York Gaming Association, which represents the state’s nine racinos, announced its backing of the casino bill, declaring it would throw its “full support” behind the expansion and the November referendum for a constitutional amendment.

The lack of opposition from the Gaming Association is key, considering that it has the resources to back an opposition campaign to the referendum.

At issue for the racinos was the concern the original proposal would have given a competitive advantage to the casinos, which are due to be constructed north of the New York City area in the first round.

The enabling legislation calls for up to four casinos in the first round of construction.

At the same time, agreements were put in place to allow western New York racetrack racinos to become full-blown casinos after agreements on revenue sharing and exclusivity were reached with the state’s Indian tribes.

“The inclusion of competitive tax parity, a plan that keeps the three Western New York racetrack casinos as vital partners to state and localities, and the assurance that our two successful downstate partners can continue providing good paying jobs and generating significant funding for schools are significant improvements from earlier drafts of this bill and critical to our support,” said Association President James Featherstonhaugh in a statement.