SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—Employees of Saratoga Casino and Raceway held a press conference on Tuesday to call on the community to support a proposed expansion.
The employees are speaking out to inform the community of the positive impact that the casino has had in the community by providing hundreds of jobs with benefits along with expanding opportunity in Saratoga Springs.
At 90 years old, Charles Hoffman is very clear about what working at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway since 1946 has meant for him and his family. He was one of about a half dozen other employees and their families that came together to express their support for expanding gaming at the facility.
Currently, 630 people are employed at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, which includes cooks, coat checks, security guards and more. They say if they were chosen to receive a full casino license, they could add another 600 jobs.
Jeff Scarfo is one of the current 630 employees. Scarfo said working as a marketing manager at the Racino has allowed him to support his wife and four-year-old daughter Amelia. He calls it a good job.
"It supports our mortgage, bills, everything," said Scarfo
Opposition to putting in a full-fledged casino in Saratoga has been mounting since the state passed the proposition in November.
The group, called Saratogians Against Vegas Style Expansion, or Save Argues, said the expanded casino would lead to more crime, hurt the downtown and that simply, it isn't needed.
Newly elected Mayor Joanne Yepsen said she's heard both sides but that community input is only 20-percent of the application that the Racino will submit.