State moves forward after voters approve casino proposition - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

State moves forward after voters approve casino proposition

ALBANY, N.Y. -- After voters approved proposition one allowing up to seven new casinos to be built throughout the state, the next step is deciding where they will go.

But just because the proposition passed, it doesn't mean a casino is going to be built in an area, even if a county is being considered by national companies as a good home for their next casino.

"Just because I voted no, doesn't mean I'm anti casino, I have concerns," said Liz Kirkhus, owner of Lovely on Main Street in Catskill.

One of her concerns is that a casino in Greene County could isolate the area from future growth.

"We have all this cultural amazing stuff happening and I just don't want that momentum and that vision of this area to be lost and just made all about the casino," she said.

The next step in the casino process is for Governor Cuomo to fill the three remaining seats on the gaming commission. Once that's done, the gaming commission will choose five people to be in charge of casino site selection.

"The legislation basically puts up a firewall between itself and the actual commission," said Chris Higgins, a local legislator and gaming law expert.

The site selection board will then open up a 90-day period for requests for proposals -- the application fee alone is $1 million for casino companies to even be considered. During that time communities can once again weigh in on whether or not they want a casino built. This community input is actually one of the criteria during the site evaluation process – it's called the home rule requirement.

"That's actually one of the weighted criteria within the evaluation process, whether that local town, city, and village, and county indeed want a casino," said Higgins.

The future applicants are likely visiting possible sites now, and meeting with local leaders. Residents of communities where casinos could be built can expect their local officials to hold gaming discussions in the coming months.

The site selection board will make four recommendations to the gaming commission, which will then vote on whether or not to distribute a license. Once a gaming license is awarded, gaming must start within two years.

Although many people in upstate New York are still concerned about opening up casinos close to home, there are still those hoping one comes to town.

"Brings in all kinds of businesses, but it also extends, not just the casino, what it's going to do for surrounding areas I think is invaluable," said resident Damaris Robles.

Currently it's unknown if revenue from these casinos will sustain the areas chosen for years to come.

"Are those revenues going to be sustained ever a long period of time, or will they increase or decrease like were seeing in Atlantic City and Pennsylvania because of saturation," said Higgins.

Click here to see revenue estimates a casino could bring to your area.

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