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Friday, June 27, 2014

We Love a (Casino) Parade!

Everyone loves a parade, and a parade there will be, in Amsterdam, NY on July 1.  No, it is not an early Independence Day celebration.  But, rather, it's in support of a casino there.  That's right.  Don't know if there will be a float in the form of a giant roulette wheel.  But there you go.

"The more we can get out the message that we are a community that overwhelmingly supports this will help us in the long run as we move along in the application process," Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said. [The Recorder, strictly subscription only, not even a few free articles a month, but I cleverly took a screenshot in the split second it appeared on screen before being blocked.  Ha ha.]
Now, as you may recall, the Gaming Commission rejected the county's request, on behalf of the developers, for a deferral of part of the license fee, and for extra time to submit the application.  However, the developers are apparently prepared to forge on.
“I think the biggest single factor in them moving forward was community support,” Ossenfort said about the developers, Toronto-based Clairvest and British Columbia-based Great Canadian.
The parade goers will be able walk along with custom cars, motorcycles and chamber of commerce members and get free tickets to the privately owned Amsterdam Mohawks baseball team. [Capitol Confidential]
Oh man.

One of their competitors for the Region Two license has a bit of a legal inconvenience to deal with now.
The anti-casino group called Save East Greenbush said it sued on Thursday to block progress on the proposed casino planned by the leaders of Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Churchill Downs.

The petition contends that the resolution was adopted at a public meeting held in violation of the state Open Meetings Law; that it was adopted without having undergone any environmental review as required under the the State Environmental Quality Review Act; and was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and an error of law. [Capitol Confidential]
The group also accuses Saratoga harness, Churchill Downs, and the Town Board of East Greenbush of having met privately and, it contends, inappropriately with a Gaming Commission attorney.
Any contact with Mr. Brad Fischer is an illegal ex parte communication that should mandate immediate dismissal of any application submitted to the Respondent state Gaming Commission.”
Well now.  This anti-casino group called Save East Greenbush is apparently not one to fuck with.  The breadth and assertive conviction of their accusations - an error of law! - suggests a confident swagger.  They have a professional-grade website, on which they helpfully point out exactly where this casino would be located.

I think that's one of the first rules in the Casino Developer's Guide to Politics - never build a CASINO right next to a Girl Scout Camp Is-Sho-Da!

Of course, the casino-to-possibly-be is having none of this lawsuit.
"This is a silly and meritless lawsuit and we are confident we will ultimately prevail in this matter." [Albany Business Review]
Back to Region Five, the Southern Tier, Thomas Wilmot Sr., hoping to build a casino way up north of the Finger Lakes in Tyre, announced details of his facility, including some architectural changes in response to community input.  It will not, as previously be reported, be named after him; but rather, it will be called Lago Resort and Casino.
“In renaming our project Lago Resort & Casino, we have adopted the Italian word for lake to highlight the magnificent Finger Lakes region and the outstanding vineyards and wineries encompassing the area,” Wilmot said. [Central NY Business Journal]
These casinos are apparently all about water - waterparks, lakes, tranquil ponds and flowing streams (linked just so you don't think I'm making this stuff up).

Yeah, that about captures what this place will be like, I'm sure.  This proposal is loaded with the usual superfluous unnecessities that casino developers include in order to make them seem less like casinos.
The casino-resort complex will feature a performance theater called the Vine, and a “regional platform” for area vendors, wineries and breweries, called Flavor New York. The updated design adds a new restaurant, a spa and a pool. [Capital Tonight]
You see, again with the water!!

Monday is the deadline for the applications, and the last chance for any of the faint-hearted to get their money back.  Michael DeMasi reports for Albany Business Review that 17 applications are expected.  It's gonna be heavy, man.
By one rough estimate, those applications could generate as much as 25,000 pounds of document
Plans for the $640 million [Nevele] resort casino filled more than 10,000 pages stuffed into 240 binders that will be shipped to Schenectady in a U-Haul truck, according to The Times Herald-Record.

1 Comment:

jk said...

Turns out former Gov. David Paterson, who found himself in the thick of the bid-rigging scandal surrounding the Aqueduct racino, is a consultant for a potential casino operator.

He’s also the new chairman of the state Democratic Party, which is headed by Gov. Cuomo — whose appointees will select the winning casino bidders.

All of which is sadly appropriate: In casinos, after all, the odds are always stacked against the public.