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October 9, 2013

Government leaders urge support for proposition to add more casinos

PLATTSBURGH — State and local leaders are urging New York voters to support a statewide proposition this November that would allow construction of four new casinos.

“There is a benefit to the state and a benefit to Clinton County, and we encourage people to vote ‘yes’ for this,” State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) said at a news conference Tuesday at the Clinton County Government Center.

The proposition, if approved, would allow four new Las Vegas-style casinos to be built by developers in three regions of Upstate: the Catskills, the Finger Lakes and the Capital District.

One of those regions would get two casinos.

SHARED REVENUE

Revenue from the new sites would be shared by counties, potentially bringing in more than $420 million statewide, and about 10,000 new jobs could be created, according to New York Jobs Now, a group supporting passage of the proposition.

Locally, more than $16 million would go to seven North Country counties per year.

The deal would also allow for the existing St. Regis Mohawk tribal casino at Akwesasne to operate without direct competition, as none of the four new casinos would be built near the Hogansburg venue.

Little said that bringing this proposition to the voters will benefit the North Country, as well as the rest of the state, and would regulate gaming.

“The state is getting a handle on gaming in the state,” she said.

“Having this on the ballot has brought (the) other (existing) casinos to the table.”

EDUCATION, TAX RELIEF

The revenue generated from the new casinos would be earmarked for education and reducing property taxes for local municipalities.

Clinton County would get about $1.3 million for area school districts and $669,095 in government aid to reduce taxes, if voters approve the proposition and the casinos are built.

Essex County would receive an estimated $400,712 in education aid and $319,257 in government aid.

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