Politics on the Hudson

By Joseph Spector

The New York Gaming Association, the lobbying group of the state’s nine racetracks, said in a report today that the tracks would generate more than $3.3 billion in economic output and create more than 17,000 construction-related jobs if they could add table games.

The report is the second that the tracks are promoting—the first showed how much they already contribute to the economy —as Gov. Andrew Cuomo deliberates over how to craft legislation and a constitutional amendment that would legalize casino gambling in New York. The analysis from Appleseed, a Manhattan consulting firm, estimates that in the first year with table games, the tracks would generate an additional $317 million for the state’s coffers.

“New York Gaming Association members have a solid record of creating jobs and bolstering their regional economies,” James Featherstonhaugh, the group’s president, part owner of Saratoga’s racino and a prominent Albany lobbyist. “As this report clearly illustrates, the authorization of live table games will allow our members to create more jobs, provide additional revenue for our state, and to help local governments.”

The tracks estimate they would expand their facilities if they are allowed to add table games to go with their video lottery terminals.