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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New York Racinos Under Threat?

In Governor Cuomo's State of the State speech today, he called for the casinos to be built upstate, in an effort to bring some of the tourism dollars out of New York City, according to Crain's New York Business.

If the Governor's intentions are implemented as stated, it would mean both NYRA's racino at Aqueduct and Empire City at Yonkers would not have table games as they are located in what is called Downstate.  Needless to say, depending where the closest upstate casino was built, Yonkers and NYRA and their horsemen are likely to experience decreases in slot revenue for purses. horsemen alike.

Of course, if you read the Governor's speech (starting on page 56), upstate racinos should be somewhat uneasy as well as the Cuomo calls for the first three casinos to be built upstate.  Where should they be built?  If you look at the title of the section discussing casino gambling, labeled Increase Upstate Tourism through Destination Resorts/Casino Gaming, it would suggest some if not all of the racinos may be facing competition.

Specifically, Cuomo's plan for casinos is outlined in his address as follows:
  • Begin by locating up to three casinos in Upstate New York.
  • The Gaming Commission will pick the best locations and the plan must have local government and community support.
  • Any revenue raised under the plan will be split 90 percent for education and 10 percent for local property tax relief.

Needless to say, if stand alone casinos are built in upstate New York, it will not bode well for those racinos either, the impact depending on how close the casinos were built to the track.

Expect some serious lobbying to go on by the racing industry.

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