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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Peace, Love and Baccarat

It's 6 PM on Election Day.  Do you know where your casinos are?

Well, no.  And no surprise there.  The members of the location board and Gaming Commission Executive Director Rob Williams talked a lot about a decision in October, but it was apparent to many of us that politics dictated that nothing would happen before this day.  Some things are just really obvious around here. A reporter for TWC News was sitting around on Oct 31 wondering about the decision that was, at one time (to some people), expected during that month, and was replied to dismissively:

Spokesman Lee Park in an e-mail sent Friday noted that neither the Upstate Gaming Economic Development Act, nor the Request for Casino Applications, ever established a deadline for a decision.
We know that, Spokesman Park, dude.  We know that the law doesn't specify a date or month, and we didn't say anything about October.  You did.  
 The board, appointed by the Gaming Commission, is not on a deadline, Park stressed. Although the goal is to make recommendations in about two weeks, that could be pushed until after the elections in November. But the board is “hoping to get it done in October,” Park added. [Daily Gazette]
Less obvious of course is exactly when the announcement will take place and where the casinos will be.  But we have some ideas about the latter, as we've been saying all along, and I guess we should propose a formal prediction at some point very soon!  I think I can handicap this better than I did the Classic.

Sullivan County officials have not given up on the idea of both possible Catskills/Hudson Valley casinos going there, even though they would both  be located at the Concord.  What at one time seemed like a highly improbable scenario has taken on a life of its own - it even has a slogan: 2 at the Concord.  Ok, maybe not a very catchy slogan, but it's something. Here's a radio ad funded by the county Industrial Development Agency.

Everybody remembers Woodstock - can you believe it was 45 years ago? Over 500,000 people came to Bethel in Sullivan County!

Hmm, yeah, I'd say that's a bit of a stretch for this purpose.  And I'd venture a guess that the prospect of three days of amazing music, free love, and good drugs (other than the bad acid, man) would outdraw a casino even in this day and age.

Actually, now that I think of it, I'm surprised that none of the bidders have included that concept in their proposals!   Resorts Worldstock!  Ah, I can just see it now....



Yeah, come on all of you rich Asian men,
Uncle Andrew needs help again.
He's got himself on a spending spree
Way up yonder in Albany
Go to Woodbury Commons, get your shopping done.
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun. 

And it's one, two, three,
What are you waiting for?
Don't ask me, you're feeling hot,

So go play some baccarat!
And it's five, A. M.
Open up the entrance gates,
Well there ain't no time for a midnight snooze,
Whoopee! you're all gonna lose!

Well, come on mothers throughout the land,
Get yourself down to Feathers' scam.
Come on fathers, don't hesitate,
Governor Cuomo can hardly wait
For your home to be the first on the block
To be fitted with a padlock.

And it's one, two, three,
What are you waiting for?
Forget the golf and bucolic lake,

Get to the tables with your stake
And it's five, A. M.
Who needs a gourmet meal?
Well, there ain't no time for eats and booze,
Whoopee! you're all gonna lose!

 - Save East Greenbush filed another lawsuit against the Saratoga harness/Churchill Downs proposal; this one is in regard to the October 14 meeting of the zoning board in which the zoning laws were changed to permit this commercial project in the residential area on Thompson Hill.  I skimmed through the lawsuit papers; it's quite a well-researched effort with a lot of citations.  I'd go into it in more detail, but with the decisions presumably just a few days or weeks ahead, I'd like to think that it's all soon going to be moot.  If this location board has the nerve to give Feathers this casino over such vociferous opposition, and considering that the revenue projections do not at all outweigh the other Capitol District contenders to the extent which would make up for that lack of community support, then this process will surely be exposed as a fraud.

Having said that, if you've perhaps forgotten just how controlling and meddling this governor is, this recent article describes yet another instance in which Cuomo virtually dictated the conclusions of an appointed board that was supposed to be independent.  So, I guess we shouldn't be surprised by anything.  Still, just the fact that there are lawsuits pending, with the potential to slow up the works, should give the panel pause as to the project's viability, no matter what the merits of the suit are (and I'm sure they're pretty solid).  At least, that's what a logical person would think.

 - I think this was my favorite performance from the Woodstock album and movie.


Figless said...

Love it, thanks for the morning smile.

And good luck EG we are rooting for you!

jk said...

Four more years!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your vigilance Alan. Actually the zoning board didn't change the law, they have no power to do so, they "accepted" the casino developers interpretation that the ancillary services to the casino (hotel, bars, restaurants, spa) are actually allowed in a residential zone. Even though just the "gaming facility" is exempt from local zoning. So, the casino developer agrees those other services are not exempt either.... so they said that if you look at it their way, they are actually allowed. Most convoluted and reaching argument, totally distorting the law and our ZBA went right along with it. Go figure.

Unknown said...

Alan - You rock!