03/27/2015 12:13PM

New York nixes gaming expansion


Plans to expand video lottery terminal gaming at a New York racetrack and an off-track betting venue were halted during state budget negotiations, BloodHorse reports.

Among the proposals shot down was a plan to introduce 1,000 VLTs operated by Nassau Off-Track Betting Corp. at Belmont Park. Nassau OTB was approved to open a 1,000-unit facility in 2013, but has struggled to find a base of operations.

Also, plans for a 200- to 300-unit VLT parlor in Albany were stopped on Thursday by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, going against a deal made between the state legislature and Capital Off-Track Betting Corp.

A state-authorized casino, The Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk in Schenectady, N.Y., was given an initial thumbs-up in December with final approval pending, which led to speculation that Cuomo did not want to jeopardize siphoning off potential revenue by building another gambling center about 20 miles away.

New York is home to 14 casinos and VLT facilities, with the first tribal casino opening in 1993. The state’s racetracks began to introduce VLTs in 2004. Finger Lakes opened its VLT operation that year, and Aqueduct’s Resorts World Casino New York City debuted in 2011.

A constitutional amendment was approved in 2013 allowing full casino gaming -  facilities that include live table games beyond the VLTs found at the state’s racinos - on non-tribal land, with a focus on upstate New York. The amendment permits up to seven commercial casinos.