In about two weeks, New Yorkers will decide whether to amend the state constitution to allow fully licensed casinos.It would open the door for Tioga Downs in Nichols to apply for a license to expand. A new Siena Poll released Monday shows that 56% New Yorkers are in favor of expanded casino gaming.
If Tioga Downs were to get the license to allow table games, it would help to boost revenue in surrounding areas.
At a press conference Friday, Tioga Downs President, Jeff Gural said, “I believe if we’re able to provide them with a destination type facility, we would be able to increase people’s visits to the area.”
Though some critics say the wording of the ballot implies casino advocacy and leaves out the downsides, like addiction and increased crime, Elmira Mayor Sue Skidmore is in full support of the measure she calls it an economic development force. That’s because10% of the revenue Tioga Downs would generate would go to outlying areas.
For Chemung County, that would mean an additional $2.2 million. Mayor Skidmore says, “With 1,000 jobs looming, 400 additional permanent jobs… Just the redevelopment and the money that that’s going to bring in… The additional tourism… This is new revenue. New revenue is especially hard for us, especially in Elmira.”
Area resident Patrick Filkins shared his thoughts on casino expansion in New York, saying, “It’d bring jobs to the area. It’d be things for us adults to do…taxes… Everything included, you know. It’d be good for everybody – more job creativity.” If Proposition 1 does pass and Tioga Downs receives a license, President Jeff Gural is promising a mutli-million dollar hotel and conference center at the Downs.