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Positives And Negatives Of New York State Racino Expansion Discussed

Published: February 8, 2011 10:37 am ET

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During yesterday's talks with New York State Senate's Standing Committee on Racing, Wagering and Gaming, parties discussed turning state racinos into full fledged casinos. Although, there were also calls for the racing industry to be weary of the casino rush.

According to a report by The Saratogian, both New York Racing Association President Charles Hayward and Michael Speller of Genting New York LLC, the firm building Aqueduct’s new racino, told the proceedings that if racinos were turned into full-blown casinos it would result in 10,000 new jobs and provide the state and racing industry with millions.

The article quotes Hayward as saying, “The racing industry will get 16 per cent of the racino’s net earnings. We can take a little bit of pain in terms of reduced handle. But we’d look for our continued percentages. I think it would be just like VLTs (video lottery terminals) — a net positive for the tracks.”

Later in the article, Spelling made reference to the fact that New York's neighbouring states have beefed up their casinos and there is a fight to keep gaming dollars within state borders.

The report later explains that committee member Roy J. McDonald said that he wants more information on the situation before he takes a 'firm stance,' but he cautions that casinos could be harmful for the racing industry. He used Saratoga Race Course as a prime example.

“I don’t want these guys (racetrack owners) in their zest to get a quick dollar to ruin our entity,” McDonald was quoted as saying. “We have a good thing going here (Saratoga). You can’t just say, ‘let’s make everything a full-time casino.’ You’re competing for the same dollars.”

(With files from The Saratogian)

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