November 6, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Details Fiscal and Economic Impact of Passage of Amendment Authorizing Casino Gaming in New York State in Sullivan County

TOP Governor Cuomo Details Fiscal and Economic...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today traveled to Bethel, New York to discuss how the approved casino gaming amendment has the potential to bring millions of dollars in new revenue to school districts and local governments as well as provide property tax relief and boost tourism and economic development in communities across the state. In the Catskills/Hudson Valley area, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties will share a projected $51,027,800 in revenue that will go towards school aid, property tax relief, and local government aid.


“The passage of Proposal One is a big win for local governments, school districts and taxpayers in the Catskills and Hudson Valley region,” Governor Cuomo said. “Yesterday’s vote by New Yorkers to authorize casino gaming will keep hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year in neighboring states right here in New York, providing more revenue for local schools, relief for property taxpayers and countless jobs for New Yorkers, while bringing proper regulation to the industry. This passage also builds on the landmark agreements we reached with Native American tribes this year, ending expensive court battles and unnecessary discord and restoring hundreds of millions of dollars to local governments. My administration is committed to reviving the state’s economy and especially in Upstate New York where we need it the most. This passage will help pave the way for the creation of new jobs, construction, and increased tourism in communities across the state.


Four New Destination Gaming Resorts in Upstate New York: The amendment, approved by New York voters, authorizes the state legislature to approve up to seven destination gaming resorts in the state. Earlier this year, the legislature passed and the Governor signed the Upstate NY Gaming and Economic Development Act, which together with the approved amendment paves the way for an initial four destination gaming resorts to be established in Upstate New York.


$430 Million for Schools, Property Tax Relief, and Local Governments: According to State Division of Budget projections, the total statewide fiscal impact of casino gaming is estimated to be $430 million annually. Funds are required to be used for additional school aid, property tax relief, and local government aid. A regional breakdown of this aid is provided below.


Additional Funding for Counties in Indian Exclusivity Zones: In addition, as a result of the amendment's passage and the landmark agreements reached this year by the Governor and Native American tribes, every county in an Indian exclusivity zone will share in Indian gaming facility revenues. Ten percent of the net gaming revenue retained by the State from Native American gaming facilities will be distributed to the counties in each respective exclusivity zone, and existing tribal payments will be preserved.


New Construction Jobs and Tourism Boost: Empire State Development estimates more than 10,000 construction and permanent jobs will be created as a result of establishing four new destination gaming resorts in Upstate New York. The destination resorts may include new hotels and restaurants and will serve as an additional incentive to attract tourists including the more than 50 million tourists that visit New York City every year to Upstate regional attractions.


Senator John Bonacic said, “I am very pleased that the Casino Gaming Amendment passed. This creates a tremendous opportunity to revitalize tourism in the Catskills. I was pleased to sponsor the Constitutional Amendment to authorize gaming and am enormously grateful for the tremendous leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and our partnership, for bringing this to a successful conclusion.”


Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther said, “The passage of the casino gaming amendment is further evidence of Governor Cuomo's commitment to growing the Upstate economy. Since taking office, he has made it a priority to create jobs in the communities that need it most. Now, with yesterday's passage, the Catskills and Hudson Valley region have the potential to host a new casino resort that will attract visitors and bring in much-needed economic activity. New Yorkers have given their approval, and now I am excited to see this plan put into action.”


Scott Samuelson, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature, said, “The passage of the amendment authorizing casino gaming in New York State means more to the Catskills and Hudson Valley region than just building casinos. This passage will mean steady, good-paying jobs right here in our community. The Governor’s efforts in leading this economic development plan are proof that he understands the needs and concerns of the families in Upstate New York, and we thank him for his commitment.”


Heather Briccetti, President & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, said, “I am pleased to join with the Governor in celebrating the passage of Proposition 1 which finally legalizes casino gaming in New York. With yesterday’s vote by New Yorkers, the state can now move forward on a major economic development plan to build gaming resorts and transform Upstate New York communities into world-class vacation destinations. With more visitors in town, that means more spending at our local businesses and jobs for the community. The Business Council of New York State is thrilled to partner with the Governor as we work to grow New York’s economy.”


Jonathan Drapkin, President and CEO of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, said, “In Sullivan County, the passage of the gaming authorization amendment means an opportunity for economic growth and a chance to improve the quality of life in Mid-Hudson region. Establishing new casinos in this region of New York State will help local businesses and create jobs for our families. I commend Governor Cuomo's commitment to passing this amendment and look forward to working with him as we continue to grow our state's economy and improve the lives of thousands of residents.”


Todd Diorio, President of the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, said, “The economic development and much needed aid that the Catskills and Hudson Valley Region will see thanks to the passage of legalizing gaming in New York is incredible. With more than $50 million in school aid, property tax relief and local revenue projected for the region, this plan has the potential to transform our local economy. I look forward to seeing this plan turned into a reality and I applaud the Governor for his vision.”


A regional breakdown of the $430 million in school aid, property tax relief, and local government aid is below:


Western New York/Finger Lakes



School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution


































































Regional Total






North Country



School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution






















Saint Lawrence








Regional Total






Central New York/Mohawk Valley



School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution










































Regional Total





Eastern Southern Tier


School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution






























Host County***




Regional Total






Capital Region



School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution


































Host County***




Regional Total






Catskills/Hudson Valley



School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution










































Host County***




Regional Total





New York City



School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution


NYC (5 Boroughs)




Regional Total





Long Island



School Aid/Prop Tax

County Distribution










Regional Total






The Host County would receive the listed amount, and the amount listed for that county in the “County Distribution” column would be distributed across remaining counties in the region.


Locations of Destination Gaming Resorts: The location for the four upstate destination gaming resorts will be selected competitively based on the economic development impact of the resort, and restricted to three regions of the state: the Hudson ValleyCatskill area, the Capital District-Saratoga area, and the Eastern-Southern Tier. One region may have up to two casinos if determined by the state siting board. No destination gaming resorts can be authorized in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, New York City, Long Island or Indian exclusivity zones. There will be a 7-year exclusivity period during which no further destination gaming resorts will be licensed by the State.


Regulation and Selection: The State Gaming Commission will oversee regulation of destination gaming resorts. The Gaming Commission will appoint a siting board of individuals with expertise in finance and development, which will determine the required minimum amount of capital expenditures and license fee required of a destination gaming resort applicant in each region and make the selections.


  • The tax rate on slot machines will be equal to the tax rate of existing video lottery gaming facilities within each region which currently ranges from 37 percent to 45 percent depending on the region.
  • The tax rate on table games will be 10 percent.
  • Existing payments to the racing industry for purses and breeding will be maintained.
  • There will be no destination gaming resorts in regions with tribal exclusivity agreements.


The board will be required to evaluate destination gaming resort applications based on specific criteria: 70 percent of the decision on siting a destination gaming resort will be based on economic activity and business development factors; 20 percent on local impact and siting factors; and 10 percent on workforce factors. Local support for the Resort application must be demonstrated as a threshold application requirement.


The Gaming Commission is authorized to investigate the suitability of the gaming license applicant, including character and financial stability, and sets criteria for licensing individuals and businesses employed by or doing business with the resort. Destination gaming resorts and all related service industries will be strictly and comprehensively regulated by the Gaming Commission. The minimum gambling age in destination gaming resorts will be 21, and no smoking will be authorized in the four destination gaming resorts.


Addressing Problem Gambling and Cheating: Funds for problem gambling will be added through the imposition of a $500 annual fee on all slot machines and table games. Destination gaming resorts will be required to develop comprehensive problem gambling programs, and part of the decision for siting a destination gaming resort will be determined by the quality of the applicant’s problem gambling program. All destination gaming resorts will be required to have exclusion policies, and the new law provides for individuals to exclude themselves from the destination gaming resorts. New categories of gaming specific crimes are included to prevent cheating at destination gaming resorts. Cyber sweepstakes cafes are specifically made criminal.

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