'Save Saratoga' speaks out against casino prior to chamber meeti - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

'Save Saratoga' speaks out against casino prior to chamber meeting

Posted: Updated: Dec 16, 2013 03:23 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. –  A group known as "Save Saratoga" spoke out on Monday against the Las Vegas style casino expansion.

Home owners and business professionals gathered on Monday for a "Save Saratoga" press conference. The group is against having a casino come to the area.

In November, Proposition One in New York passed, allowing 7 Las Vegas style casinos to be built. While the bill passed in the state, more than 50-percent of voters in Saratoga County voted "No" to the proposition.

Benj Gleeksman of Saratoga asked "We voted against it and you know, what was the point of us voting if we don't have a say in what happens in our town?"

Those who support casinos have said it will create economic growth and revive the state but long time Real Estate agent and Saratoga resident Jenny Mirling said she's already seen the negative impact of what a casino could do to her business and the future of the city.

"Real estate clients are talking about an exit strategy," explained Mirling. "They have been for the past year anticipating that this is a done deal and their concern is I think that the nature of the community is going to change significantly."

The first four casinos will be built upstate; one of them is set to expand the Racino in Saratoga Springs. The group believes having an expanded casino would create addiction and crime in the city and would exploit people's weaknesses.

Rev. John Ekman Greenfield said "Ability of the casinos to outbid SPAC or to subsidize rooms and conference centers thus out bidding the civic center and you have a recipe for the deterioration of downtown Saratoga Springs."

Group members believe it would not create economic growth but instead, create low paying jobs and alienate tourists who like the way the city is now.

"Save Saratoga" said a casino will have a negative impact on home values.

This group will be at a Chamber of Commerce forum Monday night where panelists will talk about the potential impact of a casino and will answer questions submitted on Twitter, by email, or on a note card.

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