casino gambling

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New York state has issued its much-anticipated Request for Applications to casino operators. Now, some observers think siting criteria could keep a full-size casino out of Saratoga Springs after all.

The Request for Applications to Develop and Operate a Gaming Facility in New York State was issued this week by the State Gaming Commission.

Casino operators seeking a full casino license under New York’s new casino gambling law must submit their applications, along with a $1 million application fee. The cost of the license is $50 million.

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Capital District OTB has partnered with a Rochester developer - they've come up with a $300-million idea to build a casino at Thruway Exit 23.  Albany Common Council members were briefed on the plan Friday afternoon.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Saratoga Springs City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing New York’s casino gambling law Tuesday night.

Hundreds of area residents packed into Saratoga Springs City Hall Tuesday. The room was seemingly split down the middle, red shirts on one side, white on the other – the colors associated with groups against and for casino expansion at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

A harness racing track has been chosen by Massachusetts gambling regulators as the site of the state’s first casino.  If all goes according to schedule, the casino that will have up to 1,250 slot machines, but no table games, will open just over a year from now.

       The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, in the most significant decision of its two years in existence, voted 3-2 on Thursday to offer a license to Penn National Gaming to operate a slot machine parlor at the Plainridge harness racetrack.  The track is in Plainville on the Rhode Island border.

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Though Saratoga Springs is considered a contending location for a full-scale casino license in New York, another member of the Saratoga Springs City Council has come out against expanded casino gambling.

According to a letter posted online by the Albany Times Union, Saratoga Springs Public Works Commissioner  Anthony “Skip” Scirocco recently released a statement on his stance against the introduction of full-scale casino resort to the city.

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As Massachusetts moves closer to issuing the state’s first casino licenses a potential referendum battle is looming.

       Anti-casino leaders are busy developing a campaign strategy to persuade Massachusetts voters to repeal the state’s 2011 gaming law that authorized casino gambling. Steve Abdow, a member of the leadership team of the Repeal the Casino Deal ballot initiative said the message will be pretty straightforward.

       " It's really a matter of education. If people understand the negative impact and that the casinos won't deliver what is promised."

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The New York State Gaming Commission has announced that it will appoint three individuals to sit on the state’s casino siting panel.

The Commission announced Thursday three new people to serve on the Resort Gaming Facility Location Board. The Board will be responsible for evaluating casino applications and determining who will be eligible for a full-scale casino license.

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In a piece published in the New York Times Tuesday, the editorial board came out against a proposed resort casino in Saratoga Springs.

The article brings more attention to a subject that has been the center of ongoing community debate since before New Yorkers approved the state ballot measure to expand casino gambling in November.

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The picture of casino gambling in New York’s Capital Region is coming more into focus, with word that a Western New York company is seeking possible development in Albany.

According to a local attorney, the Rochester-based Capital Gaming LLC has signed a contract to purchase Tobin’s First Prize Center, the long-vacant site of a former meat packing facility located near I-90 in Albany.

    Casino gambling appears on the horizon for Springfield, Massachusetts.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti, director of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that voters in Springfield have welcomed MGM to the city.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A crowd of advocates and opponents packed into the Saratoga Springs City Center last night for a casino forum hosted by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and Saratoga Convention and Tourism bureau.

An hour before The Saratoga Casino Forum began, people started streaming into in the City Center. Members of Destination Saratoga, the pro-casino group launched with money from the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, stepped out of buses waving signs and wearing buttons.

Meanwhile, volunteers with SAVE Saratoga, the anti-casino group, passed out hundreds of red T-shirts.

Residents of Saratoga Springs will have the chance tonight to hear from a range of experts on how controversial casino development could affect the area.

Tonight at Saratoga Springs City Center, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and Saratoga Springs Convention and Tourism Bureau will host a forum to examine the full-scale impact of the arrival of a resort-style casino in the Spa City following the passage of a statewide ballot proposal in November.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A new pro-casino coalition of community members and business owners is entering the discussion surrounding casino development in Saratoga Springs.

The group Destination Saratoga announced at a press conference that it is seeking to convince area residents that before developers submit their proposals for full-size casinos in New York, that Saratoga Springs, already home to gambling, is an ideal location.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Representatives of the equine industry in New York state testified before a state assembly committee today on their concerns about how upcoming changes in the state’s gaming landscape could negatively effect horse racing and breeding.

According to a 2012 study commissioned by the State of New York, 33,000 fulltime workers – including trainers, breeders, track workers, hay farmers and other affiliated industries – are supported by the equine industry in the Empire State.

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Hundreds of individuals from Saratoga Springs and the surrounding communities packed city hall at the first meeting of SAVE Saratoga – a group formed to oppose bringing a full-size resort casino to the Spa City. 

What initially started as a Facebook group created over the summer in opposition to the New York ballot question that allows up to seven Las Vegas-style gambling casinos in the state has morphed into an organized group with a petition against casino expansion, various committees, and a mission to reach out into the community.  

Blair Horner: Lessons From New York's Casino Vote

Nov 11, 2013

Election Day was a big one for the governor and other supporters of adding casinos in New York State.  The proposition, which passed with 57% of the vote, will mean New York will add up to seven casinos in a state that already has nine racetracks with video-lottery terminals and five casinos located on Native America reservations.

Stephen Gottlieb: Casinos And The Board Of Elections

Nov 5, 2013

 When this is aired, I will be in Washington, D. C., where my students and I went to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear cases argued that we have been studying. Since it is also election day, I had to fill out an absentee ballot. On the ballot, the casino proposition leads the group of ballot propositions. Governor Cuomo had “submitted a concurrent resolution to the State Legislature to amend article I, § 9 of the State Constitution to allow for ‘casino gambling regulated by the state.’”(1)  

Times Union

It’s Election Day! So we’re going to talk about some key races and controversial propositions on this year’s ballot with special guest, Capitol New York Senior Reporter Jimmy Vielkind.

This Election Day voters will have an opportunity to amend the New York State constitution.  When you get to the polling place, in addition to voting for candidates, you will have the opportunity to vote on six proposed changes to the state constitution.  If you want to get the text of the actual amendments, you can access the language by going to the state Board of Elections website at

Two citizens groups are calling on the New York State Board of Elections to resign over wording of a ballot proposal about casino gambling. One is based in Ulster County, where casino supporters have their hopes set on seeing a casino built.

Politicos Talk Casino Gambling in NY

Oct 30, 2013

A New York congressman and his potential opponent have weighed in on whether to allow casino gambling in the state. A U.S. Senator chimes in as well.

On Tuesday, New Yorkers will vote on a ballot proposition about whether to allow up to seven gambling casinos upstate. If voters give the go-ahead a few casinos could be built in the Catskills, in regions represented by Republican Congressman Chris Gibson.

Democrat Sean Eldridge, who in September formally announced a campaign for the nomination to run against Gibson in 2014, is also supportive, but with caveats.

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The first ad is out promoting the ballot amendment to build new casinos in New York.  It focuses on the benefits the casinos might bring, and not on actual gambling activity.

The topic during Thursday morning’s breakfast at a county Chamber of Commerce in New York is casino gambling. The speaker wants to see a few casinos built in the Catskills.

WAMC/Allison Dunne

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.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Members of the public met with elected officials and people on both sides of New York’s casino gambling amendment at a community forum Monday night in Saratoga Springs. 

David Nightingale: On Casinos

Oct 13, 2013

An essay aired in 2005, concerning casinos in the Catskills, mentioned some of the pros and cons of gambling; now, in 2013, here we go again. It appears that, increasingly, the governments of many states are believing in gambling as a quick fix to shortage of funds.

With New Yorkers set to vote on a referendum that would expand casino gambling in New York state, people are speaking out on all sides of the argument. But how would a resort casino affect the Saratoga region – an area already home to gaming?  

Judge Will Rule On Casino Amendment Challenge

Oct 11, 2013

A New York State Supreme court judge heard arguments Friday on whether the State Board of Elections should change the wording of a casino gambling amendment that critics say improperly advocates for the measure’s passage.

The push for passage of a ballot amendment to allow up to seven new gambling casinos in New York has begun. A coalition of business leaders, labor unions, and local elected officials are holding press conferences across the state. They expect to run some TV ads, as well.