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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

Casino developers offer Albany $11 million, jobs

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Casino developers offer Albany $11 million, jobs

Developers behind a proposed casino in East Greenbush are offering the city of Albany $1 million a y
Casino developers offer Albany $11 million, jobs
The view of Albany as seen from land for a proposed casino on Thompson Hill Road in East Greenbush is seen on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

Developers behind a proposed casino in East Greenbush are offering the city of Albany $1 million a year for 10 years and pledge to provide residents with job opportunities if the project is awarded a casino license.

A total of $11 million — $1 million up front, and $10 million over a 10-year period — from the developers’ casino revenue will go to the Capitalize Albany Corporation to create new programs and attract new businesses in Albany. The agreement comes after a proposed casino in Rensselaer received Albany’s non-exclusive endorsement last week.

“The commitment we are announcing today will create private sector jobs and boost Albany’s economy using the private dollars generated from a new casino in East Greenbush,” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said.

Saratoga Harness Racing and Churchill Downs are pursuing a casino on Thompson Hill in East Greenbush called the Capital View Casino and Resort. Casinos are also being pitched at Howe Caverns in Cobleskill, de Laet’s Landing in Rensselaer and the former Alco site in Schenectady.

Last month Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer offered Albany $1 million a year for 10 years from the city’s portion of casino revenue. He was seeking Albany’s exclusive support for Hard Rock’s proposed casino project.

But Sheehan countered his offer, asking Dwyer for $1 million a year with a 2 percent increase each year for 10 years. He rejected that offer, but the Albany Common Council passed a non-exclusive resolution anyway backing the casino project.

It is unclear if Dwyer’s offer still stands. The East Greenbush developers are not looking for exclusive support. The Albany Common Council meets again on Sept. 4.

The state Gaming Commission’s Facility Location Board will award casino licenses in the fall. The Capital Region is expected to receive one license, with another awarded in the Southern Tier and two given to the Hudson Valley.

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