Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes the amendment to expand non-Indian commercial gambling in New York will be approved by voters this November, but he plans to campaign for it, he told reporters earlier today.

Cuomo said at a gaggle in New Baltimore the casino referendum will require a “sophisticated argument.”

The amendment will provide for up to seven casinos, with four built in the first phase.

The proposal through enabling legislation the would set casino construction upstate in the first phase, with casinos being eyed for the Albany area, the Catksills and the Southern Tier.

“I think that’s going to be the natural knee-jerk for people” to reject more gambling,” Cuomo said. “You have to say, hold on a second. It’s not really gambling versus no gambling. I know we have to change the constitution, but we already have gambling. We just don’t call it gambling. I think it passes, but it’s a sophisticated argument, no doubt.”

Neverthelss, there hasn’t been a major argument in favor of the casinos or against for that matter.

Yes, there has been an anti-gambling coalition pushing back against the amendment and Republican Chairman Ed Cox says he’ll vote against it.

Critics of gambling have pointed out the language on the ballot is rather leading and points out in a rather Pollyannish way how casinos will bring economic development to the upstate region.

The amendment is one of several voters will consider this fall.

But out-of-state casino interests have not begun an anti-casino campaign and deals struck with the state’s Indian tribes that operate gaming facilities are on the sidelines.

Cuomo says that while the amendment will pass, he’ll be involed in having it approved, though he did not spell out how, exactly, that support will manifest.

“There are people who are working to pass the referendum,” Cuomo said. “I support the referendum. I’ll be working to pass the referendum. and then it’s going to be up to the voters to decide whether or not they want it passed.”