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by Gazette staff

Around Saratoga

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What's going on in the Spa county

Cuomo casino plan downplays local competition

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's casino siting legislation envisions established local businesses working in concert with a casino.

The governor's plan for three upstate casinos also comes with additional amenities, like hotels, entertainment venues, and restaurants, which could compete with existing hotels, restaurants and entertainment establishments near the new casinos. An expansion at the Saratoga Casino & Raceway, which is planning to build a 24,000-square-foot event center, is raising some comeptition fears among current entertainment venues.

Potentially quieting any fears about new competition is a provision in Cuomo's siting legislation that requires the casino operator help offer patrons a "diversified regional tourism industry." In other words, not keep the walking wallets on casino property the whole time.

The bill says, the casino operator must operate in "partnership with and promoting" local hotels, restaurants, retail facilities and live entertainment establishments. The language is included in the siting evaluation portion of the bill.

Despite this provision, concerns have been raised in the past about local businesses competing with the Saratoga Casino & Raceway if it got live-table games.

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