Times Union – Capitol Confidential

By James Odato

The operators of the nine racinos statewide claim they will build up their enterprises in ways that would generate $3.3 billion in economic output in New York including 17,400 jobs — “if a constitutional amendment was passed to allow for live table games” at the tracks, the New York Gaming Association said on Tuesday.

NYGA, which represents the nine tracks, says in a new report that the video lottery terminal operators plan $1.8 billion in expansion if the state Constitution is amended to allow for casino games at their facilities. The plans would result in investment that would lead to 5,780 permanent direct jobs and another 8,200 new indirect jobs.

The key is that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature have not identified whether the Constitution should be amended to allow the track racinos to offer casino games. There does seem to be a willingness among legislative leaders to go along with the governor to change the constitution to end the ban on table games and pass the first of two needed resolutions on the matter this year. Details on where and how many facilities should be worked out next year, Cuomo has said, when the second resolution could be passed before the issue could go to voters in November 2013.

The game association on Tuesday continued its campaign to promote its goal of the racinos becoming full-blown casinos. Its latest economic study was based on a report by Appleseed which estimates an additional $317 million in state revenues in the first year of expanded casino games. That would reap $81 million in New York State income, sales and business taxes and more than $36.4 million in local income, sales and business taxes.

The association said the addition of live table games in the nine racetrack facilities would also increase their purchase of goods and services from New York companies, directly supporting more than 575 full-time equivalent jobs in those companies, with wages and salaries of nearly $53 million.

The study estimates that subsidies provided to the racing and breeding industries would increase by about $26.3 million annually and directly support at least 460 jobs in horse racing and breeding with wages over $13 million. Combining direct, indirect and induced impacts, the projected increase in racing and breeding subsidies would support nearly $53 million in economic output and more than 640 jobs in New York with wages and salaries of almost $24 million.