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Casino Developers Not Welcome in Saratoga

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Residents of Saratoga are against the expansion of casinos in the city.

Despite its successful horse racing business and famous 19th-century gambling parlor, Saratoga won’t be home to the state’s newest gambling venue. At least that’s what it looks like at the moment, when local gambling news report that casino supporters are losing the battle against their opponents.

The referendum held in November to authorize up to seven new casinos in New York passed on a state level, but was not approved by residents of Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County. Sara Boivin, member of Saratogians against Vegas-style Expansion (SAVE) argued: “This community voted No by 57 percent, and the county voted No by 54 percent. We just want that message to be taken by officials.”

New casinos lack public support

New York has five Indian casinos, as well as nine racinos at racetracks. Saratoga’s local casino and raceway is an extremely successful business, bringing in significant profits. However, casino developers believe the city has not reached its full potential yet and suggested it could benefit from a full-scale gambling operation.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was the first one to speak up in favor of the idea, claiming casinos could be a solution for the state’s economic growth. Both city and county officials seemed to support the idea, unlike the local community.

American gambling laws in New York don’t necessarily require the voters’ approval, but regulations do however demand that all new projects benefit from “public support”. With SAVE gathering over 1,000 signatures on anti-casino petitions and the pro-gambling group having nothing to show in support of its ideas, it seems like Saratoga won’t be getting a new casino venue anytime soon.

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