casinos

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It may not have taken place around a roulette wheel, but there was a palpable air of suspense as the state Gaming Facility Location Board announced three of the nearly 20 communities hoping to get a piece of the gaming action on Wednesday. The board was entitled to grant up to four licenses.

The five-member volunteer board immediately got down to business, nixing all seven casino proposals in Orange County and approving one Hudson Valley/Catskill site to the Montreign Resort and Casino, located in the tiny village of Thompson in Sullivan County.

Finger Lakes town of Tyre awarded 1 of 3 casino sites

Dec 17, 2014
Matt Martin / WSKG file photo

The state Gaming Facility Location Board has selected three proposals for casinos in in economically distressed communities in upstate New York in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca Counties.

The Seneca County site selected was the proposal by Wilmorite Corporation to build Lago Resort and Casino off the New York State Thruway in the small town of Tyre.

It’s looking less and less likely that state senators and Assembly members will get a pay raise as a holiday present this year, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers still have a number of issues they need to resolve before the year ends, ranging from the siting of gambling casinos to how to close a Thruway deficit and whether to go ahead with hydrofracking.

Matt Martin / WSKG file photo

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched his idea of opening up to four casinos in New York state, his goal was to create jobs in upstate New York. But a proposed Seneca County casino is ruffling feathers about 70 miles away in Oneida County.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The jockeying for a coveted casino license in New York state's Southern Tier and Finger Lakes was on display at a public comment session in Ithaca Wednesday. The New York Gaming Facility Location Board wrapped up a series of public hearings by listening to arguments about proposed casinos in what is called the Eastern Southern Tier region.

Matthew Powell/flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s not concerned about reports that the casino gambling industry may not be all that healthy. The negative news comes as the state is considering authorizing four new gambling centers in the next few months.

One third of Atlantic City’s casinos, including one run by Donald Trump, have announced plans to close, and Moody’s investor rating services has downgraded the casino industry from stable to negative citing “declines in comparable monthly gaming revenue.” 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

There was no vote at the Onondaga County Legislature Tuesday regarding the siting of a proposed casino in the Seneca County town of Tyre, but residents still had their say.

Lawmakers were originally going to vote on a resolution that would have supported development of a $350 million casino project in the small town of Tyre. The New York State Gaming Commission is deciding where to site gaming facilities in a region that stretches from Lake Ontario down through Seneca County, and east past Binghamton.

Matt Martin / WSKG file photo

A vocal group of residents in Tyre have sued their town board over a proposal to bring a casino to the rural farming community. The group is now getting support from a national anti-casino activist. 

Protestors gathered Thursday in a field next to a proposed casino site in Tyre. The handful of protesters held signs opposing Rochester businessman Thomas Wilmot’s casino application.

Wilmot’s one of three applicants seeking to build a casino in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region.

Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, addressed the crowd.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

Prospective casino operators got a chance to ask the Cuomo administration questions about the process for choosing licensees for four upstate casinos. But they won’t get answers for several days.

The structure of the event was a bit awkward. Gambling conglomerates and other developers, who have all paid $1 million each for the privilege of being considered for a casino site, attended a mandatory session held by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York State Gaming Commission.

Matt Martin / WSKG

Tioga Downs, the Southern Tier horse racing and gaming club, has announced plans to expand by purchasing the Tioga Country Club. It’s just the latest push to strengthen their bid for a full casino license from the state.

Tioga Downs will only purchase the club if it receives the full casino gaming license from the state. Developers at Tioga Downs are hoping the planned expansion will strengthen their application for a casino license.

O World of Photos / via Flickr

The Oneida Indian Nation has begun cutting checks to New York state and county governments out of the profits from its Turning Stone casino. The profit-sharing will enable the Oneida to maintain its dominance over casino gambling in central New York.

News Briefs: Thursday, Nov. 14

Nov 14, 2013
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SUNY Upstate VP retiring amid controversy

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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 casinos might bring and not on actual gambling activity.

The ads, from a statewide coalition of business and labor groups, are currently aimed at downstate voters, where the New York City mayor’s race and county executive contest in Nassau County is expected to draw the greatest turn out on November 5.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

Anti-gambling activists took a sledgehammer to a slot machine in front of the New York State Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to a ballot amendment to legalize gambling casinos in New York state.  

Wielding a sledgehammer, anti-gambling advocates took turns smashing up a Lucky 7 slot machine, at a park with the New York State Capitol in the background, as TV news cameras recorded the event.

David Blankenhorn, with the Institute for American Values, organized the event.

“It felt great,” Blankehorn said. “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.”

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A state Supreme Court judge heard arguments Friday in regards to 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.

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A new poll finds language on a referendum on New York state's November ballot to portray the expansion of casino gambling in a positive light is working, and gaining support among potential voters.  

Another anti-gambling group has released a study debunking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature’s claims about the benefits of permitting more casino gambling in New York.  So far opponents have been more vocal than supporters about the November 5 ballot referendum.

This November, voters in New York will decide whether the state will allow up to seven new resort-style gambling casinos, when they vote on a constitutional amendment. But the wording of the actual referendum on the ballot may increase the odds of the new casinos being approved.

Most ballot referendums proposing constitutional changes are written in very drab, and even confusing language. But the proposal to change the state’s constitution to allow up to seven new gambling casinos is different.

Matthew Powell/flickr

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.

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

The new law permits up to four gambling casinos in upstate New York, as long as a referendum on November’s ballot is approved to amend the state’s constitution to allow the expanded gambling.

Cuomo says it will be up to the voters to decide.

Cuomo brings gambling revenue to western New York

Jul 31, 2013
Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent Wednesday traveling to three western New York cities to deliver gambling revenue that was withheld by the Seneca Nation of Indians during a four-year dispute with the state. Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, Sr. handed out a total of nearly $140 million to Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca.

While in Niagara Falls, Cuomo said these back payments will be very helpful to those local governments.

When state lawmakers approved a bill to permit new gambling casinos in the final hours of the legislative session, they left something out: a provision to ban campaign contributions to legislators from gambling corporations.

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to create new gambling centers in New York, he said he also wanted to ban campaign contributions from gambling entities to state lawmakers.

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State lawmakers were finishing up their session for the year, working to approve a measure to build four gambling casinos upstate and create tax free zones at college campuses.

But the final hours of the session were overshadowed by back and forth skirmishing over a Women’s Equality Act, which ultimately failed.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO/Innovation Trail

The City of Niagara Falls is set to receive a lump sum of $89 million after the settlement of a long-standing dispute between New York state and the Seneca Nation over gambling revenues.

The first order of business for the city is to pay back over $22 million borrowed from its general fund that’s been depleted over the past several years while the state and Senecas were at odds.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Deals have been reached between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders on siting new casinos and creating tax free zones at college campuses. But a bill on abortion rights was struggling, and reform measures appear dead for the session.

The agreement on casinos would allow four resort-style gambling centers; one in the Capital Region, one in the Southern Tier, and possibly two in the Catskills, if voters approve the change to the state’s constitution in the fall.

Nassau and Suffolk counties would be allowed to open more slot machines, under the terms of the bill.

nygovernorcuomo

The lengthy dispute over casino royalties was resolved in Niagara Falls on Thursday with the signing of new deal between the state of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians. 

This deal is the third in 30 days between the state and upstate Indian nations since the governor launched his initiative to push for additional casinos (or as he calls them "resort destinations"), in upstate.

What's in it for the Seneca? Support from Albany to uphold their rights to run exclusive gaming operations in western New York.

ChrisYunker / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a bill to authorize three new gambling casinos in upstate New York, if the legislature agrees to his plan and voters approve it in the fall.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has been pushing the plan for upstate casinos as an economic development tool for several months now. The constitutional amendment needed, which has already received partial passage, calls for seven casinos. Cuomo wants just three destination gambling centers for now.

Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

The governor is optimistic Oneida and Madison Counties will go along with the deal he struck last week with the Oneida Indian Nation over casino gambling. The state also reached a deal with St. Regis Mohawk leaders this week. The Seneca Nation is the remaining holdout tribe still in dispute with the state over gambling

O World of Photos / via Flickr

The Oneida Indian Nation will for the first time share a sizeable chunk of gaming revenue from its casino operation in order to keep competition from the state out its backyard.

Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined the details of his plan to site three gambling casinos upstate Thursday. Cuomo, joined by union and business leaders, and representatives from county governments, offered more details of his plan to build three new gambling casinos. Cuomo says he wants to limit the locations to upstate regions for now, to prop up the failing economy. The governor says upstate needs jobs like it needs oxygen. And he says having a downstate location would devalue the upstate centers.

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