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State begins consideration of casino table games

2011-09-07T16:22:00Z State begins consideration of casino table gamesDAVE CANFIELD -- dcanfield@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
September 07, 2011 4:22 pm  • 

ALBANY -- Lawmakers have begun to weigh whether to allow table games like poker and blackjack in places like the Saratoga Casino and Raceway - something supporters say could raise billions of dollars in revenue for the cash-strapped state.

A pair of state Senate committees held a joint hearing on the issue Wednesday, a month after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state needs to consider expanding its gambling laws.

Among those the panel heard from was the newly created New York Gaming Association, a non-profit group formed to lobby on behalf of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway and eight other video lottery terminal venues across the state.

Association President James Featherstonhaugh said later Wednesday that between $3 billion and $5 billion is wagered each year by New Yorkers who go elsewhere to play table games, which are currently only found in New York in tribe-operated casinos on upstate Native American reservations.

Featherstonhaugh said he told lawmakers a constitutional amendment allowing for table games in the nine racetrack casinos would help recoup that lost gambling money and boost funding for education.

"I think reaction generally has been positive, without any commitments," he said. "People tend to be surprised at how effective the racetrack casinos have been and how much they already contribute to education, agriculture and racing."

Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, said he's open to considering expanding gambling operations, but only if it will not negatively affect thoroughbred racing at the Saratoga Race Course.

"Sometimes in the rush to change things, we forget to protect and preserve what's already working," said McDonald, who sits on the state's Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, in a prepared statement. "... Exploring new gaming options is a good thing, but not at the expense of the thoroughbred horse racing industry."

A spokesman for the New York Racing Association, which operates Saratoga's thoroughbred track, said the association would not comment on expanding casino gambling Wednesday.

NYRA is poised to receive as much as $27.6 million annually to improve its racetracks - particularly Saratoga - by collecting 4 percent of the revenue generated by thousands of video lottery terminals that will operate at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

Genting New York LLC was awarded a contract by the state to run the machines, which are seen as vital to ensuring NYRA's solvency. A Genting spokesman, Stefan Freidman, said Genting fully supports the proposal for table games.

According to the Gaming Association, more than 25,000 job applications have been received for 1,300 positions at Aqueduct's casino, which is called Resorts World New York.

The racino at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway already offers some table games in electronic form, said Shawn Harris, the director of video gaming machine operations there.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. nottheaverageguy
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    nottheaverageguy - September 08, 2011 6:43 pm
    I may be wrong about "odds" and I do know they claim to pay a percentage but they (vidoe poker) "do" operate differant. Any one who plays in Saratoga (operated by NY State) and any other privately owned Vegas or Indian casino will tell you the same thing. Do some research.
  2. nottheaverageguy
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    nottheaverageguy - September 08, 2011 6:37 pm
    nytoaz9382 said: "Actually Sir federal law states that any casino, state run or otherwise needs to pay out a % of everyday taken in. With most casinos paying a slightly higher then required %. Also As a former slot tech at Harrahs Las Vegas, the machines at the racino are identical to a "real" casinos equipment. Odds don't change each spin is randomly generated by a randomizer chip inside each machine. " I think you have legal gambling in Vegas confused with NYS and the racino's. It is not legal in New York or there would casinos all over. Do some more research the video poker machines is Saratoga "ARE" differant in how they work at any Vegas or Indian casino. Do some more homework you will find I'm right.
  3. wizzy23
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    wizzy23 - September 08, 2011 7:58 am
    if the state does this they need to have real crap tables and roulette. the electronic games are crooked. anytime a computer is involved the results can be altered. real crap,roulette, poker and blackjack are more attractive to the player.
  4. patcher
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    patcher - September 08, 2011 6:20 am
    Same old, same old. All this new found cash for education and yet my school taxes continue to go up every year...untill we get control of all this new found cash, gambling in NY will continue to be nothing more then a rip off, with very little of this money going to education.
  5. nytoaz9382
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    nytoaz9382 - September 08, 2011 1:35 am
    nottheaverageguy said: "I stand corrected on the "VLT" VLT's are computer screens instead of "RNG" which are actual individual reels. My mistake. But I'm right in the differance between State machines and real casino machines. If your "out there" try it yourself. Go to Saratoga and play video poker, if you get a pair of face cards don't hold anything you won't win anything less than a pair of face cards. Then try the same thing at Turningstone and see what happens."

    Actually Sir federal law states that any casino, state run or otherwise needs to pay out a % of everyday taken in. With most casinos paying a slightly higher then required %. Also As a former slot tech at Harrahs Las Vegas, the machines at the racino are identical to a "real" casinos equipment. Odds don't change each spin is randomly generated by a randomizer chip inside each machine.
  6. nottheaverageguy
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    nottheaverageguy - September 07, 2011 9:52 pm
    I stand corrected on the "VLT" VLT's are computer screens instead of "RNG" which are actual individual reels. My mistake. But I'm right in the differance between State machines and real casino machines. If your "out there" try it yourself. Go to Saratoga and play video poker, if you get a pair of face cards don't hold anything you won't win anything less than a pair of face cards. Then try the same thing at Turningstone and see what happens.
  7. nottheaverageguy
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    nottheaverageguy - September 07, 2011 8:57 pm
    I beleive that is why they are called "VLT's" Video Lottery Terminals, not slot machines.
  8. nottheaverageguy
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    nottheaverageguy - September 07, 2011 5:55 pm
    i'm really confused about "state run gambling" at the present time the VLT's or "slot machines" in the state run casinos are in a sense "fixed" they are not the same as any slot in a real casino. As I am aware the odds are reset in every spin so in other words, example-"video poker"- it does not matter what cards you hold the outcome was determined when you hit "deal". the second spin is a mere attempt to look "real". In a real casino it matters very much what cards you hold. My question would be are they going to be "real" slots now and/or are the table games going to be "fixed". So why would anyone play a state run table game with the "fix" added?
  9. downtownresident
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    downtownresident - September 07, 2011 5:31 pm
    YES YES YES..lake george & saratoa were built on this...keep an eye on it..make it different...attract our neighbors to the north and to the south and let them put their money on the table and in our restaurants, and in our hotels, and in our retail shops, and this is how you create jobs around a new industry!
  10. strong
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    strong - September 07, 2011 4:49 pm
    Well lets see, we cant put people to work so lets take the easy money and let people gamble !!

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