albany casino

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

State regulators are expected to license three new casinos in upstate New York on Monday.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Months of discussion about jobs, development and construction came to naught for several losing communities last week when just three casino projects got the green light from New York state’s gaming commission. But, communities and developers that lost casino bids are on the rebound.

Last week, the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board rejected 13 proposals in favor of projects in Sullivan, Seneca and Schenectady counties.

Save East Greenbush

On Monday, Capital Region casino applicants presented their proposals to the New York State Gaming Commission’s location siting board. Politicians and citizens are lining up in support of particular venues.

The board heard Monday from four developers that want to build casinos in the greater Albany/Saratoga region. Applicants were given 45-minute blocks to show promotional videos, run through economic and revenue statistics and argue why they deserve a casino license.


On Monday, the four Capital Region casino applicants appeared in Albany to present their proposals to the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board.

With gamblers seemingly preferring to visit smaller casinos closer to home, the presentations four developers delivered before the New York State Gaming Commission’s location siting board offered practical mid-size packages.    "We are committed to developing the best site there is in a way that best serves this community, its citizens and its economic goals"

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

Developers seeking state permission to open 16 proposed casinos in upstate New York are presenting their plans before a state board today.

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board is holding two days of presentations from developers today and Tuesday at Empire State Plaza Meeting Room 6,in the shadow of the state capitol.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

As established casinos across the Northeast close their doors or administer cost-cutting measures, New York is just getting into the game.  And although it won’t host a casino if its own, Albany has become a key player.

The mantra has been "jobs and the economy," and New York's capital is crossing its fingers, hoping for a windfall should a casino go up in nearby Rensselaer County.

Long before final word from the gaming commission, the casino siting process has local governments and residents taking positions and forming alliances to woo or shoo casino developers.

Kathy Sheehan

The mayor of Albany has reached a 10-year agreement with Capital View Casino and Resort, the proposed project across the river in East Greenbush. Kathy Sheehan says the Capitalize Albany Corporation will receive $1 million a year if the Churchill Downs/Saratoga Casino and Raceway-backed project gets the lone Capital Region casino license. The Albany Common Council is reviewing the written proposal. The city has already tepidly backed the other Rensselaer County casino proposal, but not exclusively.

Last night the Albany Common Council voted to support the Rensselaer casino project. But there's still a lot of uncertainty and dealmakers are facing criticism.  

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Casino developers have upped the ante in a bid to secure support from the city of Albany.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Even though the city of Albany is out of the competition to land a casino, the Common Council may soon get to vote on supporting one.


How likely are you to visit one of those new casinos when they open for business in New York?

Triin Q/Flickr

Public perception of casinos among upstate New Yorkers continues to evolve. While new gaming halls will be built, people have become more aware of the long-term positives and negatives they'll bring to surrounding areas. 

A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll out Monday finds a majority of those polled favor building a Capitol Region casino.


Following a Wednesday evening Town Meeting , residents opposed to building an East Greenbush casino on Thompson Hill are more confident than ever that they can stop the proposal from going forward.

The Town Board told a packed house that the casino developers had withdrawn their planning application at this time due to a lack of material. The board previously voted unanimously to support the Capital View Casino & Resort to be built, now a zoning issue has emerged that could jeopardize the project

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

With the casino application deadline fast approaching in New York, the city of Albany is apparently not supporting any of the projects proposed for neighboring cities.

Local municipal approval is required for applicants seeking one of four casino licenses expected to be granted in upstate New York this fall. The developers face a Monday deadline to submit their casino applications. More than a dozen development groups are in the running to apply for a license.

Hard Rock Cafe has dropped into the competition for a regional casino on a 24-acre site along the banks of the Hudson River.

De Laet's Landing in the city of Rensselaer is where Hard Rock International, with partners David Flaum and Capital Region OTB, would like to site a $150 to $200 million gambling resort. Earlier this month, the common council voted 6 to 1 approving the casino project. Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer:  "That name is going to draw a lot of people." 


As some residents of one local community step up their resistance to a regional casino, people a few Thruway exits west are crossing their fingers that they could host a casino resort.

Just days after a casino proposal for Exit 23 in Albany collapsed,  Schenectady has taken a key step in luring Vegas-style gambling to the city.  

Developer Bows Out Of Casino Bid in Sullivan County

Jun 5, 2014
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A development group that wanted to build a casino in the Catskills is dropping out, saying the possibility of a competing casino closer to New York City would make their proposal unsustainable.


Another wrinkle in the regional casino picture - Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced this week that the the so-called "E23 proposal" with the casino, hotel, restaurants and water park - is not to be –  "What we have learned is that what was at least presented is not possible."

The dream is gone - left behind as wealthy Rochester developer David Flaum looks across the Hudson to Rensselaer, where Wednesday night the city council, in a 6-to-1 vote,  gave Flaum the green light to site a casino-hotel complex on a 24-acre site along the riverbank.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

In a hastily-called Wednesday afternoon press conference at City Hall, Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan announced the proposal for A casino that would have been built at Exit 23 of the NYS Thruway had come to halt.  Sheehan said the so-called "E23 project" was, in the developers opinion, not financially viable, and the developer is looking at Rensselaer - where will be a town board public hearing at Genet Elementary School at 7 p.m. and public comment will be heard regarding the proposed "East Greenbush Casino" that has the backing of Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Gambling chips

Albany, Schenectady, and East Greenbush are among the upstate communities that could one day host a casino, but Les Bernal says casinos are a bad bet.  Bernal is the National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling. He will speak tonight at a public forum at the First United Methodist Church in East Greenbush, a meeting organized by opponents of the East Greenbush casino.


When does an activist group hold a jobs forum? When it believes the local community is threatened by casino expansion.  Operating under the premise that commercial gambling and casino culture are not the answer to the need for local economic development, OccupyAlbany is sponsoring a jobs forum to explore local job creation. Activist Jonathan Capra:  "The purpose of this forum is to get the community together and brainstorm about what we can do together to build new forms of economy, whether it be worker cooperatives or other ideas like that. I'd say the agenda right now is pretty open."

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

It's shaping up to be a busy week for burgeoning casino plans in Albany, East Greenbush, Schenectady. 

Communities & Casinos

Apr 29, 2014
Gambling chips

Debate over the locations of casinos in New York has intensified. Several municipalities are mulling over the issue.

Many communities across New York are talking about building casinos. Reactions have been mixed. In Saratoga Springs, home to a Racino, the city council came out against "upgrading" to a casino model, prompting developer Saratoga Casino And Raceway to look to places like Newburgh in Orange County and East Greenbush in Rensselaer County as potential casino sites.

Triin Q's photostream Flickr

With high-profile casino projects in East Greenbush and Albany competing for New York’s sole casino license for the Capital Region, casino advocates from smaller communities also have high hopes.

The Howe Cave Development Corp., the organization working to establish Howe Caverns as a resort casino location received confirmation Wednesday that its $1 million application fee for a casino license has been received by New York’s gaming commission.

Chris Tague is a spokesman for the group hoping to build the resort at its location located about 40 miles from Albany...

The owners of Saratoga Casino and Raceway are reportedly withdrawing their plans for a full-scale casino in Saratoga Springs.

Triin Q's photostream Flickr

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has stated she has no involvement in any discussions related to the sale of her family’s Albany-area land to a casino developer.

Gillibrand said that she has no involvement in any future sale of the 60 aces owned by her family to casino developers. The Democrat said she trusts Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s judgement on whether the land located near New York State Thruway exit 23 would be a suitable location for a casino.

WAMC Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses last weekend's events at the Linda, a takeover of a Ukrainian police station, and a possible casino in Albany.

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Albany’s Common Council held a public hearing Monday night on the E-23 proposed plan to locate a casino adjacent to Exit 23 on the NYS Thruway. The council introduced a resolution supporting the casino, a step that's been in the works since last week, after representatives from Pinnacle Entertainment, a Louisiana-based casino management company, visited Mayor Kathy Sheehan at city hall on Saturday. Meanwhile, Albany Common Council member Judd Krasher said he was troubled by the process and felt not enough questions were answered for him to be able to vote in favor of the proposal.

"There is simply no way I will be able to vote for a casino in Albany," Krasher said.

Add one more voice of support for an Albany Casino -  The Exit 23 or E23 as it's called casino proposal got a strong endorsement from Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple - the Sheriff dashed a letter off to the developer and Capital OTB expressing his "unequivocal support for Project E23' - which sits on land owned by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's family, its strategic location isolating it from Albany neighborhoods.