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by Gazette staff

Around Saratoga

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Racing could be left out in casino plan

Unless future casinos are located at racino sites they won't support breeders, horsemen or racing purses.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out his vision for three upstate casinos this morning and said that only racinos that get live-table gaming will support the state's thoroughbred and standardbred industries. A new casino that is free standing, he said, would not support breeders, horsemen or purses.

New York Thoroughbred Breeders Executive Director Jeff Cannizzo wouldn't comment on Cuomo's proposal until specific legislation was introduced, but he highlighted the benefits that have been realized by having racinos help support breeding, horsemen and racing purses.

"[It] has completely revitalized our industry and created New York as a destination location for breeding and racing horses, which is a huge economic engine for the state," Cannizzo said.

If casino gaming goes forward, he said, there needs to be continued support for breeding and racing.

Current payouts to breeding, horsemen and racing purses are based on percentages, which means the contributions from the state's racinos could decrease if their business decreases with competition from three upstate casinos.

The Saratoga Casino gives 8.75 percent of its net win to purses and 1.25 percent to breeders.

The governor has said that the revenue from casinos will be distributed to the state, the hosting county and surrounding counties. A regional map for casinos is on the Capital Region Scene blog.

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