Saratoga Racino Rebrands

Apr 27, 2016

The 75-year-old Saratoga Casino and Raceway announced a new logo and name change on Wednesday.

In his new book The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling, mathematician Adam Kucharski reveals the long entangled history between betting and science. Weaving together ideas from mathematics, psychology, economics and physics Kucharski brings to life the game of chance. He introduces readers to a group of MIT students who made a fortune playing Massachusetts state lottery games, showing how PhD level pundits using methods originally developed for the U.S. nuclear program to accurately predict field goals and race times, and explains why poker is one of the ultimate challenges for artificial intelligence. Adam Kucharski is a lecturer in mathematical modeling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an award winning science writer.

Powerball tickets

The world's largest lottery jackpot has grown to $1.5 billion...and counting!  The $1.5 billion prize would be paid in annual payments over 29 years, or a lump-sum payment of  $930 million.


A new state audit released Friday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli shows off-track wagering dropped by $1.2 billion during the five-year period of 2009-2013 compared to the previous five-year span.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

Proposals to allow Internet poker in New York is dividing the gambling industry, with some companies predicting increased revenue for state government while others warn it would threaten existing gambling facilities.

Over the past year, the New York casino landscape went from a number of competing concepts to three projects preparing for launch. Observers are now speculating on the future of the state’s newest industry.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

  The U.S. Attorney's office says more than $9.6 million in assets seized in an international internet gambling takedown is being distributed to law enforcement agencies in New York and Florida as well as the federal government. 

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The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on a proposal from Connecticut's two federally recognized Indian tribes to open additional, smaller, jointly-operated casinos to help fend off out-of-state competition.

Massachusetts voters soundly rejected a ban on Las Vegas-style gambling Tuesday allowing casino projects to move forward in Springfield and eastern Massachusetts.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports.

Beginning in September Albany law school is launching a new concentration in equine, racing, and gaming law. The program is being introduced as states including New York and Massachusetts are expanding casino gaming.

The New York State Gaming Commission is holding hearings on the issue of gambling addiction. It is part of a process that will allow the building of up to seven new casino gambling resorts in New York over the next several years.

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.

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.

Another anti-gambling group has released a study debunking New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s and the legislature’s claims about the benefits of permitting more casino gambling in the state.

Triin Q's photostream Flickr

This November, voters in New York will decide whether the state will allow up to seven new resort style gambling casinos, when they have the choice of saying yes or no to an amendment.  But the wording of the actual referendum on the ballot may increase the odds of the new casinos being approved.

This November, voters will get a chance to decide whether to expand gambling in upstate New York. But because of a quirk in the election calendar, it’s likely that downstate voters will be the ones to make that decision.

  Western Massachusetts cities are vying for the state’s lone casino license for that region.

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 polling shows a demographic split among residents.

New Yorkers have a chance to vote this November on whether there should be more gambling in the state.  Those who treat people with gambling addictions say it will likely result in more problem gamblers.

The New York Council on Problem Gambling is a not for profit, affiliated with the state agency on alcohol and drug abuse. It coordinates and publicizes treatments for New Yorkers with gambling addictions.

New York Governor Cuomo says it’s now up to the voters to decide whether they want to expand gambling in New York State. He’s signed into law a plan build casinos upstate, but the public must approve a change in the state’s constitution in order for it to move forward.  

Today casino operator Mohegan Sun unveiled a new architectural design for its proposed casino in Palmer, Massachusetts. The project would include a 250,000 square-foot casino, two hotels, retail space, a conference center, an outdoor pavilion, and an indoor-outdoor water park. 

5/29/13 - Panel

May 29, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain. Ray Graf moderates.

Topics include:
Moms Are Now Primary Breadwinners In 40 Percent Of Homes
Drone Protestors
Circling the media wagons

The state's gambling commission has voted to allow failed applicants for casino licenses in eastern or western Massachusetts the opportunity to compete for the sole license in southeastern Massachusetts.

The motion was approved on Thursday by the panel, which had earlier voted to open the southeast region to commercial casino bids. The Mashpee Wampanaog tribe previously enjoyed exclusivity in the region while it pursued regulatory approvals for a proposed resort casino in Taunton.

5/2/13 - Panel

May 2, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, WAMC newsman Ray Graf and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao. Joe Donahue moderates.


  • More Boston Arrests
  • Tracking Foreigners
  • Civil Liberties Poll
  • Casino Gaming Expansion
  • Average Albany

3/28/13 - Panel

Mar 28, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, WAMC's Morning Edition host David Guistina, and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

This morning our discussion topics include:
Supreme Court set to end ban on benefits to gay spouses?
States weigh sports betting as way to raise cash.
How Secure is the Mexican Border?
Nike’s new Tiger Woods ad causes a stir.

Study: Youth gambling isn't just entertainment

Mar 21, 2013

Gambling takes place every day and is a rapidly growing form of entertainment. With the Superbowl in the rearview mirror and March Madness full speed ahead, many people have been placing bets as they root for their favorite teams to make it to the Big Dance. It’s more than just a game; it’s a big business for gamblers.

A study done by the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems, says that between 60%-80% of high school students have gambled for money during the past year.

    After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta needed a new employer. He found a new job in New York City but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down as he crossed the street on foot.

In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That's when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball--and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?

In his book, Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order), Peta shows how to subtract luck from a team's statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball "hedge fund" returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011-- with daily volatility similar to funds he used to trade for.

BOSTON (AP) — The gambling industry spent $2.3 million dollars lobbying Beacon Hill lawmakers in 2012, a drop from the $3.1 million spent by the industry in Massachusetts in 2011.

A review of lobbying records by The Associated Press found that despite the decline, companies hoping to land one of the state's coveted casino license still poured hundreds of thousands into lobbying.


The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has begun several days of meetings  to address dozens of policy questions.   It’s a prelude to the commissioners writing the final regulations to fully implement the year old gambling law and license resort casinos.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

       The gaming commissioners, meeting in Boston, voted unanimously Tuesday to set a policy that bans a community from holding a referendum on a casino project until it has been determined the developer is suitable to hold a gaming license in Massachusetts. 

Two high powered casino operators affirmed their commitments this week to pursue projects in Springfield Massachusetts.  Officials in Holyoke, a late entry to the western Massachusetts casino competition, are moving to form committees to review proposals from developers.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief  Paul Tuthill has an update on the fast moving casino story.


Officials in Springfield Massachusetts have agreed to changes in a casino selection competition to address concerns about the timetable that were  raised last week by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. It will likely push back until next summer a voter referendum on a casino in Springfield..  WAMC’s  Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.