Study: Impact of "racinos" is worth $2B

Buffalo Business First

A trade group says a study shows that New York state’s racetrack operated gaming operations generate $2 billion to the economy.

The New York Gaming Association cited a study done a New York City consulting firm, Appleseed, regarding the nine “racinos” across the state. Two operate in the Buffalo area — Hamburg Fairgrounds and Batavia Downs.

The analysis said the gambling facilities directly or indirectly supported 17,400 jobs in the state. According to the study, the racetrack casinos created 5,431 direct jobs, contributed $1.06 billion in state revenues and a total of $1.96 billion in economic output.

The Hamburg racino has 141 full-time workers and 168 part-time employees. Batavia’s full-time payroll is 85, plus 228 part-time employees, the study said. The Albany-based group, formed last year, group released the report as Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks to establish “We’re in the casino business already, we just spell it with an R,” Cuomo has said.

The Seneca Nation of Indians, which operates three casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca, said it would support additional gaming if the state does not seek to build any within its established footprint in Western New York.