03/05/2014 12:30PM

Saratoga Springs city council overwhelmingly rejects casino


The Saratoga Springs City Council, in a 5-0 vote, approved a resolution on Tuesday night stating its opposition to a full-blown casino in the city, a ceremonial vote that reflects the community’s concern that additional gambling will hurt local businesses.

The vote by the council came four months after a statewide referendum on allowing up to four casinos in upstate New York was approved by voters. Residents of Saratoga Springs, however, had voted against the proposal.

Saratoga Raceway, a harness track that has operated a slot-machine casino in Saratoga Springs since 2004, is seeking one of the four licenses available to upstate casino locations. However, Standardbred horsemen in the state oppose the effort, which would allow Saratoga Raceway to operate table games and other machines not currently considered legal under the law allowing the track to operate so-called video-lottery terminals.

The casino is also opposed by local restaurants, shops, and hotels, which would face competition from any amenities offered in an expanded casino operation. In addition, any money lost in the casino would be money that could not be spent at other locations in the city, which has become an enormously popular destination location for vacationers from late July to early September, during the Thoroughbred meet at Saratoga Race Course.

Pat More than 1 year ago
Read the article: Residents of Saratoga Springs ALREADY voted AGAINST the meaure of expaneded gambling. My goodness, where did you learn to read?
geno More than 1 year ago
The will of the voters should be the deciding factor, not 5 council members. Move into the 21st C!!
Carlton S More than 1 year ago
Residents of Saratoga Springs, however, had voted against the proposal.
Connie Hampton More than 1 year ago
The city council has to be made up of 5 total morons who have no relation to reality. Are they nuts it would take away business? Why didn't they check with the motels,hotels and restaurants near both foxwoods and Mohegan sun, They are booming with extra business withe the people who come to the casinos. They couls of used the line that it would bring in more undesirables to the town, at least that would make some sense.
Paul More than 1 year ago
I doubt they'd pay the same to a full time black jack dealer in Saratoga as opposed to cities with much higher costs of living. Their harness track shouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon. They were big in the 70s and a little less in the 80s and then they picked up with simulcasting and did tremendously when the casino first opened. Adding a few other casinos would hurt each individual casino and local businesses. The powers that be assume that every casino is going to earn what the others earn and that they don't effect the existing casinos. At Aqueduct the state assumed the money would be the same or more and in addition to the ond in Yonkers. It was but the one in Yonkers suffered. Adding additional casinos in the close proximity to Saratoga would set off a decline as well.
wings71ny More than 1 year ago
Apparently Saratoga doesn't need good paying jobs. My experience experience tells me a full time dealer would make at least 45k a year but hey Walmart is hiring.
Nascar19661 More than 1 year ago
Alot of people also like to sit at home and live off of people who actually work.
harnesstimes More than 1 year ago
And I forgot the additional 500 jobs the casino would create.
harnesstimes More than 1 year ago
The Harness track will close within 2 years if they cannot become a full casino.650 jobs lost and another 600 on the racing side.