The Locally Owned Voice of the Capital Region

Schenectady Rivers Casino proposal unveiled

May 20, 2014
Updated 1:21 p.m.
Text Size: A | A
Surrounded by supporters from the city and county government, the community and local businesses, Neil Bluhm, Chairman of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming (background), joined Galesi Group COO David Buicko to unveil plans for Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor at Proctors on Tuesday morning. Schenctady Mayor Gary McCarthy and David Buicko are seen in the foreground watching a short video on Rush Street Gaming.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Surrounded by supporters from the city and county government, the community and local businesses, Neil Bluhm, Chairman of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming (background), joined Galesi Group COO David Buicko to unveil plans for Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor at Proctors on Tuesday morning. Schenctady Mayor Gary McCarthy and David Buicko are seen in the foreground watching a short video on Rush Street Gaming.

— The Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming of Chicago are partnering with plans to build a full-scale casino at the former ALCO site in Schenectady.

Rush Street Gaming signed on to operate the proposed casino at Galesi Group’s $150 million riverfront development between Erie Boulevard and the Mohawk River.

“This is Schenectady's time. This is an economic engine that is going to support the next 50 to 100 years," Buicko said during a news conference Tuesday morning at Proctors’ GE Theatre. "Simply put, this casino project can be a game changer for the city and county of Schenectady."

The casino, called the Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor, would be similar to the casino Rush Street Gaming operates in Pittsburgh. That casino – also called Rivers Casino – has nearly 3,000 slot machines, 86 table games and a live poker room. It employs 1,800 and generates about $175 million annually for Pittsburgh and its neighbors.

Buicko said the project is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs. But many questions were left unanswered including the casino’s price tag – which is required to be at least $182.25 million, according to the state Gaming Commission — the number of permanent jobs and the amount of money that would be generated for the city and county.

Photo by Marc Schultz

Surrounded by supporters from the city and county government, the community and local businesses, Neil Bluhm, Chairman of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, joined Galesi Group COO David Buicko, at podium, to unveil plans for Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor at Proctors on Tuesday morning.

Neil Bluhm, chairman of Rush Street Gaming, said he is very excited to be in Schenectady and work to establish a casino in the area. Rush operates several casinos in Philadelphia, Illinois and Ontario.

"We will make the Rivers Casino at Mohawk River a reality," Bluhm said. "I am excited to be working with the Galesi Group. We have a great project here to take an old site...and improve it and create economic benefits, jobs and tax revenues. I think it will be a home run all around."

Galesi’s riverfront rehabilitation also includes a 124-room hotel and banquet facility, 304 apartment units and a supermarket. Previously, Buicko was targeting a film studio for the site but did not receive adequate funding from the state for California-based Pacifica Ventures to build a $69 million studio.

But Schenectady is just officially entering the casino competition, and the project will need support from the city council to be considered for a license from the state. Other proposed casino sites in the region include Albany, East Greenbush, Montgomery County, and Schoharie County.

 
Share story: print print email email facebook facebook reddit reddit

comments

May 20, 2014
2:33 p.m.
dagiacalone says...

Is Rush Street Gaming a good partner for a casino and good neighbor for Schenectady? I wonder how Rush Street answers the very specific claims made against it by a citizens' group in Worcester MA. See
http://votenoslots.com/rush-street-gamin...
.
The webpage looks at Rush Street's record at its casinos regarding taxes, fines for gaming violations. crime, broken promises, jobs & labor, salaries, economic impact, and Neighbor relations, with footnoted links to relevant media sources.
.
And, I wonder what Schenectady's Casino Cheerleaders have to say about Rush Street's record operating casinos.

May 20, 2014
7:54 p.m.
commsecy says...

Wow, a casino being build for $182.25? What a bargain.

May 20, 2014
9:31 p.m.
blueed says...

When are folks going to stop being so negative about everything the elected officials do! You complain about high taxes, pot holes, lack of school funding! Why not Schenectady? You would rather them drive 15 minutes to Albany and reap the rewards! 11.4 million guaranteed every year to County and City. School district would receive almost 2 million! Lower taxes, fix our roads, save our schools! Let's get on board and support jobs and economic opportunity for downtown! Phillip Morris and Chamber of Schenectady County are totally on board. Catch the train before it leaves------ on a one way trip, never to return. Go Rivers!!!!

May 20, 2014
9:35 p.m.
sojda says...

I was just at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh this past weekend. If the casino proposed for Schenectady is anything like it, that is a good deal.

May 21, 2014
10:55 a.m.
dagiacalone says...

Mr. Kosiur [BlueEd], Asking tough question before jumping on a bandwagon is not negative, it's realistic and responsible. We would not have to be quite so negative so often, if more of our City Council members would stop being rubber stamps for the Mayor, worrying more about getting appointed or being nominated again by the Party, and started asking tough questions about proposals, and doing some actual research about facts and figures and the basis for revenue projections. When we see the Council acting like they take their jobs seriously, acting like truly elected officials with the individual and collective authority and responsibility to serve the public and not the Party, we won't have to be skeptical of their ability to make wise decisions.
.
Why should we believe that a City Hall that can't even put a parking meter ordinance together after a year of trying, has thought through the ramifications of hitching Schenectady's future and reputation on a casino?
.
Have you asked yourself what the prominent business leaders have/hope to gain from supporting this casino and whether their interests are consistent with those of less-favored businesses and the average citizen? Or, asked how big a gamble you are willing to take with the quality of life of our City, and whether there are less risky uses for that property? Mr. Galesi and Mr. Buiko certainly could not have counted on winning a casino license when they proposed the Harbor Project. So, they must have a Plan A and Plan B for making the Harbor project work successfully without sole reliance on this Plan C[asino].
.
P.S. Have you noticed that Rush Street and Galesi have not mentioned how many post-construction jobs the casino will generate, or estimated how many jobs non-favored "leisure" businesses will lose when their income is drained away to the casino?

May 21, 2014
5:59 p.m.
hodgkins.t says...

What do the people that would be most impacted by a new casino in downtown Schenectady want? Fortunately, we know, because they voted on a proposal to expand gambling upstate in November 2013. The results are unambiguous at the county level; the people are opposed to a casino. See my election data analysis @ http://schenectadyplaygrounds.blogspot.c...

Log-in to post a comment.

 

columnists & blogs


Log into Dailygazette.com

Forgot Password?

Subscribe

Username:
Password: