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What you need to know for 07/27/2017

Casino developers seek Montgomery County's support

Casino developers seek Montgomery County's support

Backers of a proposed casino in Rensselaer are seeking Montgomery County’s support, but county offic

Backers of a proposed casino in Rensselaer are seeking Montgomery County’s support, but county officials are looking to hear from developers pitching other casinos across the region before giving its endorsement.

During the Montgomery County Legislature’s meeting on Tuesday, Capital District Off-Track Betting Corp. President John Signor presented Hard Rock’s plans for a $280 million casino and hotel at de Laet’s Landing in the city of Rensselaer.

Capital OTB is a partner in the Hard Rock project and has a branch in the Amsterdam Riverfront Center.

Signor is seeking the county’s support for the proposal after Montgomery County’s bid for a casino was disqualified by the state Gaming Commission earlier this month.

A resolution was on the agenda during Tuesday’s meeting to support the Rensselaer casino project, but it was withdrawn. Instead, legislators would like to hear from developers proposing casinos in Cobleskill, Schenectady and East Greenbush before the nine members make a decision.

A special meeting of the board will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday for those developers — if they wish — to present their casino proposals to the county. On the agenda is “potential legislation regarding support for casino development.”

The Rensselaer site is nearly 50 miles from the Montgomery County line. The sites proposed for casinos in Cobleskill at Howe Caverns and Schenectady at the former Alco site are closer — 28 miles and 12 miles, respectively. The East Greenbush location on Thompson Hill is also about 50 miles away.

This comes after Rensselaer received non-exclusive support for its project from the Albany Common Council. Also, on Wednesday, the proposed East Greenbush casino reached an agreement with Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

Saratoga Harness Racing, pitching the East Greenbush casino, pledged to provide a total of $11 million over 10 years to Capitalize Albany Corp., the economic development arm of the city. The developer also pledged to provide jobs for Albany residents.

The state Gaming Commission's Facility Location Board will award casino licenses in the fall.

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