A state judge this morning tossed a lawsuit challenging the wording of an amendment that would expand casino gambling in New York.

Among his determinations, Judge Richard Platkin ruled the argument that the language was advocating for the expansion of non-Indian gaming “is both untimely and lacking in legal merit.”

Opponents of gambling and good-government advocates had knocked the language before voters next month for including the potential benefits of casino expansion, including lower property taxes and increased school aid.

The state Board of Elections had argued the lawsuit came after the statute of limitations expired on challenging the casino amendment’s language.

The lawsuit, brought by Brooklyn-based attorney Eric Snyder, contended the language on the ballot before voters painted an overly rosy view of casino expansion.

There is no word yet if Snyder plans to appeal, but time is becoming increasingly a factor in challenging the ballot language, given that absentee ballots have already been mailed out.

If approved on Nov. 5, four casinos would be authorized in the first round of construction, all placed north of New York City. The casinos would be restricted to the Southern Tier, Catskills and the Albany area.

The contention that the language was tipping the scale in favor of passing the amendment was bolstered by a Siena College poll that found voters would back the amendment when told of the benefits of expanding non-Indian gaming in New York.

In his ruling, Platkin argues the Board of Elections — which defended the suit — was under no under no legal requirement to have a plainer text.

Good-government groups had also taken issue with the amendment’s wording. While not weighing in on the benefits or drawbacks of casino expansion, groups like the New York Public Interest Research Group issued a friend of the court brief backing the challenge to the language.

“While NYPIRG has no position on how New Yorkers should vote on the proposed casino amendment to the state Constitution that it is at the core of this case, we believe this matter raises issues that go to the very heart of the way state government functions and the integrity of the process for revising the state’s basic charter,” said NYPIRG’s Blair Horner in a statement. “We’re disappointed that the judge chose to block a legitimate discussion on the merits of whether the state gamed the language of the casino amendment to tilt New Yorkers to a yes vote. New Yorkers still need to know how the state put its thumb on the scale in favor of casino interests when it came to drafting the pro gambling ballot question.”

Snyder v Walsh by Nick Reisman