A number of business, labor, and elected officials joined together in Ulster County this afternoon to urge New Yorkers to vote in support of casino gambling in the state. A few opponents voiced their concerns as well.
Supporters of a constitutional amendment to allow up to seven gambling casinos in upstate New York say they are working to get the word out to voters that approving such an amendment is necessary for jobs. They say that passage of Proposal 1 would bring thousands of jobs and more than $51 million to the Hudson Valley and Catskills region, money that would be used to improve schools, help local governments fund critical services, and lower property taxes. Here’s
He says that resort model does not work in today’s economy, and gambling needs to be part of the Catskills resort mix. Ulster County Executive Mike Hein agrees. One hopeful recipient in his county is the Nevele. The resort closed in 2009 and Hein says a new Nevele Resort, Casino & Spa needs the gambling component to help return the Catskills area to its resort destination heyday. Hein wants the proposition to pass.
Dr. Arnold Lieber is with No Saugerties Casino and the Coalition Against Gambling in New York.
He and a few other opponents initially stood outside the Ulster County government building with signs opposing casino gambling, signs they were not permitted to bring into the New York Jobs Now pro-casino gambling press conference in the legislative chamber of the county building. Lieber says he not only opposes the proposal, but the following.
Proposal 1 proponents say the amendment includes strong anti-corruption laws, along with protections for gambling addicts, providing millions of dollars to establish programs to prevent problem gambling. Lieber says any proposed mitigation of gambling problems does not go far enough.
Here’s Ulster County Executive Hein.
Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council President Todd Diorio, Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce President Ward Todd, and Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce President Terri Lynn Ward were among others who stood alongside Hein and Samuelson in support of casino gambling.