By: Lisa Martone
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- An information session was held in Saratoga Springs on Monday with information about the casino vote coming up in November, because if it does pass there is a strong chance that a full service casino would open in that area.
During the November 5 general election there will be a statewide referendum on the ballot that will give New Yorkers the chance to decide if full service casinos should come to the state. If voters say yes there would be four new casinos in three upstate regions, the Catskill-Hudson Valley Region, The Capital District-Saratoga Area and the Southern Tier. But many who live and work in the Capital Region say they have little information about the benefits or negative effects a casino may have to the area.
So on Monday, in an effort to inform, the online newspaper The Saratoga Wire held a round table discussion with county officials, and those for and against a casino coming to this area.
Those who were for it, say the biggest benefit will be money and jobs. If voters say yes, full service would be added to the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, generating nearly $11 million annually to be split between the county and city, on top of additional funds for education.
The Saratoga Casino and Raceway owner says it would also employ 600 additional people. But those against the referendum say these casinos would chance the social landscape of this area and may place a burden on hospitals, police, and affordable housing.