March 19, 2012
The legislature of New York along with Governor Cuomo passed the expanded gaming bill on Wednesday. This will be an amendment to the New York state constitution. The new bill will allow for seven casinos that would be privately owned to operate table games. The newly approved games will be poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps.
Seven gaming licenses will be awarded to companies that can prove they are able to take on the challenges that come with a full scale casino. American Racing and Entertainment, LLC is already competing for licenses. After the bill was passed, a statement was made by company Chairman, Jeff Gural. The company owns and operates Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel, and Tiogo Downs Casino. Both are located in upstate New York.
In a statement that was released, Gural stated ""We look forward to meeting with state officials and make the argument that both Tioga and Vernon are well suited to be converted to full casinos and that we are prepared to make significant capital improvements at both facilities in order to justify the Governor's goal of creating jobs and additional revenue for the state. We hope the state will take into account the fact that at Vernon we are competing with a Native American Casino that pays no taxes and has table games which puts us at a decided disadvantage. In addition, Vernon already has a hotel and we recently invested over $8,000,000 to add convention facilities that have proved to be very popular. We look forward to working with the state once they have developed criteria as to where they think the seven licenses should go."
Gural also stated that if given gaming licenses, both Vernon Downs and Tioga, would be able to create over 700 jobs and help the economy in the cities that casinos are located.
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