Anti-casino group "Save East Greenbush" has 3,000 petition signatures opposing the siting of casino on Thompson Hill Road. Over the weekend, a new tractor sized “NO CASINO” billboard appeared at the roundabout on Routes 4 and 151 in 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"
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.
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 saysthe 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.
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.