With New York state said to be considering authorizing four new casino licenses in the near future, casino resort project proposals have been rolling in. The highest caliber of these proposals comes from the organization that owns Churchill Downs, which hosts the Kentucky Derby.
The New York state government plans to authorize new casino licenses in an attempt to boost the struggling economies in upstate and western New York. This is a decision that has received mixed feedback as some citizens point to the negative connotations that surround casinos. Despite this negative feedback, it appears that residents of New York can expect to see new casinos popping up in the relatively near future.
The owners of Churchill Downs represent the most high profile of the groups attempting to pioneer the proposed casino expansion in upstate New York. This group is proposing to build a $300 million casino and resort just outside of Albany. This facility would be similar to Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and other luxury casino resorts. These facilities offer customers a wide variety of entertainment options, high-end hotel experiences and fine dining.
Government officials support this plan and others like it as they will bring in thousands of new jobs and keep New York gamblers from spending money in other states. Other proposals include a $500 million casino plan for New Windsor, NY, and other groups considering the $350 million investment required for building in Orange County. A state gambling committee laid out minimum investment requirements for Orange County and other parts of the state last week, with lower requirements being set for smaller economic areas.
Potential Benefits Outweigh Risks
While people point to the social downsides of casinos, it seems that the potential benefits of these plans outweigh the costs. People suggest that casinos encourage poor behavior and set a bad example for youth. These casino opponents fail to recognize that New York already has a number of Native American-owned casinos scattered throughout it.
Areas such as Syracuse, Buffalo and Western New York have had casinos for years without any evident social repercussions. These small cities and towns exemplify the impact that a casino can have on a struggling economy. These casinos give tourists a reason to visit towns they would otherwise bypass and create opportunities for other local businesses to cater to tourists.
Another distinct advantage is the impact that new casinos would have on unemployment. For example, the proposal for a $300 million facility near Albany would bring the area thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue. The same can be said for Orange County’s larger economy, where new casinos could bring in billions of dollars in new revenue.
New York is a state that is already sustaining casinos without experiencing any upheaval or a negative cultural revolution. It is highly unlikely that adding four more casinos to the mix would somehow tip the scale and corrupt the towns in which they are built. These casinos present themselves as a way for the New York state government and its citizens to get themselves out of economic trouble and to combat unemployment rates.
Image by Thomas Hawk