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Monday, 21 April 2014 17:01

Breaking News: SCR: Grass Greener In East Greenbush?

By | News

By Arthur Gonick

Saratoga TODAY

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Casino and Raceway (SCR) has informed Saratoga Springs city officials today that they will be putting an application to seek a casino license in the Town of East Greenbush in Rensselaer County. 

 

An application fee of $1 million is due by the end of the month. The Saratoga Springs City Council had passed a resolution in March expressing several points of objection with the state law regarding expanded gaming. 

 

Mayor Joanne Yepsen’s office released the following statement: 

“Today we learned that the owners of Saratoga Casino and Raceway have finalized their decision to apply for an expanded casino license for a location outside of Saratoga County. 

 

“As the casino process moves forward in other areas, it is crucial we remember that the original intent of the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act was to breathe new life into economically struggling regions of our state.  Here in Saratoga Springs, we are fortunate to have a wonderful community that features a thriving downtown, successful City Center, two horse race tracks and a wealth of natural beauty and cultural assets. It's clear that the Saratoga Casino and Raceway owners feel that Saratoga Springs does not meet the economic criteria set forth by our state legislators in the bill that passed and recognized that the majority of our citizens expressed their opposition to a full casino resort in our city. 

 

“We look forward to working constructively with them and the New York Gaming Commission as the city considers their $30 million proposed expansion. Saratogians should have a say in this project just as every other important project within the city.” 

 

Attempts to reach Rita Cox, Vice President of Marketing at SCR were unsuccessful, although it is expected that SCR will issue a statement and this posting will be updated.

 

Sara Boivin, a steering committee member of SAVE Saratoga, which had opposed any sort of expanded gaming in the city made this statement: “SAVE Saratoga is cautiously optimistic at this point. If we are successful (in preventing expanded gaming in the city) it will be because of the people of Saratoga Springs and how hard they worked. We are also grateful for the efforts of the city council in representing its citizens.”

 

Charlie Samuels, a member of the anti-expanded gaming group Saratoga 58% said “I can assure you that the majority of Saratoga Springs residents are very relieved that a casino will almost surely not be sited here. I am very encouraged by today’s news but (SCR) is not the only company in the world who may want to build a casino here so we are not celebrating yet.”

 

 

Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan confirmed that she had been contacted officially by a member of Destination Saratoga, a group that is at the forefront of support for expanded gaming at SCR. She also noted that “we’ll have to see how this plays out as far as the fiscal impact goes; once we see who and where the regional casino is placed we can estimate and analyze based on that. There was going to be an impact whether a casino was placed in the city or outside it.”

 

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