New York | Opinion

Editorial: Don't rush to approve off-reservation casino in Catskills

"The operators of the Monticello Raceway want the new governor to rescind the approval David Paterson gave late last year to a Catskills casino proposed by the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohican Indians.

No surprise there. A casino in Bridgeville, just down Route 17 from Monticello, is likely to put the struggling racetrack and racino operation out of business. Just as determined to stop the casino are Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, Yonkers Raceway, the the Finger Lakes Racing Association, the Buffalo Trotting Association and Resorts World New York, which is developing the racino operation at Aqueduct in Queens.

No surprise there either. All of these operations face competition from casinos in Connecticut and Atlantic City as well as new business in the Poconos. They can't stop operations in other states, so they have to do all they can here. If the casino is built, lots of jobs will be lost from Long Island to Buffalo, they say.

Just as expected is the response from the Mohican band. They cut to the heart of the matter by saying that the opposition is nothing more than an attempt by those already in the business to prevent competitors from coming in, competitors that have failed for decades to make good on their own promises to bring casinos to the Catskills. Let them win and say goodbye to the new casino, the new jobs, the new taxes.

So, what's a governor to do? What nobody has done ever since one of his predecessors made the mistake of holding out a vision of casinos in the Catskills without figuring out what that means, for better and worse, for the region and the state. Given the changes in the gaming landscape since then, even the vague assumptions that date back to George Pataki are hopelessly out of date."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Say no to casino until it fits a plan (The Middletown Times Herald-Record 1/16)

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