Montgomery County

Supporters and opponents of Amsterdam casino set dueling rallies

Concurrent casino rallies are scheduled to take place in the city of Amsterdam on Wednesday at 5 p.m

Concurrent casino rallies are scheduled to take place in the city of Amsterdam on Wednesday at 5 p.m. — one supporting the casino resort proposed near Exit 27 of the Thruway and another opposing it.

Last week the Amsterdam Recreation Office canceled the Destination 27 parade in support of the proposal due to extreme heat and possible thunderstorms. But the People Against Town of Florida Casino were not deterred by the rising temperatures, and about 50 casino opponents took to the streets of Amsterdam to voice their displeasure. They voiced concerns over the long-term stability of a casino in Montgomery County and the effects on local farmers.

Officials from the city of Amsterdam or Montgomery County had no role in planning the pro-casino rally scheduled for Wednesday. Instead, Amsterdam resident Miguel Gonzalez created a Facebook event, SAY YES TO EXIT 27 CASINO RALLY !!!

As of Monday, 112 people said on the page that they planned to participate. The rally will begin on the Route 30 bridge that leads into downtown Amsterdam.

People Against the Town of Florida Casino have also created a Facebook event, the No Exit 27 Casino Rally. So far, 19 people have registered to particpate.

The operators and developers of the proposed casino that would straddle the town of Florida and city of Amsterdam, Clairvest Group Inc. and Great Canadian Gaming Corp., submitted their application to the state Gaming Commission at the June 30 deadline after its requests for an extension of that deadline and a $25 million reduction in the gaming licensing fee were both rejected by the commission.

The proposed resort would sit on roughly 512 acres and include a gambling hall with 1,250 slot machines and 40 table games, two 18-hole golf courses, a hotel, a farmers market and 200 full-time residential units.

They are one of five teams competing in the Capital Region for at least one license. Four casino licenses are expected to be awarded in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and Southern Tier sometime in early fall.

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