The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously supported Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s bid to open a full-service casino in East Greenbush.
Supervisors said the proposed Capital View Casino & Resort is worth supporting because of the developers’ connections to Saratoga Springs and its harness-racing track.
Capital View would be a $300 million casino and hotel built in a partnership between the owners of the Saratoga racino and Churchill Downs in Kentucky.
“If you look at it through the eyes of Saratoga County and Saratoga Springs, for us it’s a better deal because they’re our people, they’re from Saratoga Springs,” said Supervisor Matthew Veitch, R-Saratoga Springs.
Should the new casino result in loss of business at the racino, Veitch said people working at the racino could simply be transferred to the casino rather than face layoffs. “I think it’s the best thing for the employees,” he said.
The proposal to endorse the East Greenbush project has generated only support since county supervisors first discussed it last week.
There has been vocal opposition to the proposed casino in town, but the East Greenbush Town Board has unanimously voted to support it.
Initial plans for a full casino at the Saratoga racino site were dropped this spring because of substantial citizen opposition in Saratoga Springs.
Racino Vice President George “Skip” Carlson said he will go to the Washington County supervisors Friday to seek their support. All the local government support resolutions will be submitted to the state Gaming Commission as part of the application process.
After the vote at a meeting in Ballston Spa, Carlson said he was thankful for Saratoga County’s support. “There are economies of scale where we can work together with Capital View Casino and it would be beneficial to our employees, and to our harness horsemen,” he said.
He said the racino and other Saratoga Springs destinations would be promoted at the East Greenbush casino.
The East Greenbush site is competing with projects in Amsterdam, Rensselaer, Schenectady and possibly Cobleskill for what will probably be only one casino in the Capital Region, out of four to be located upstate.
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