The Business Council – Capital Business Blog
By Heather Jung

New York Gaming Association (NYGA) members generated approximately $1.96 billion annually in economic output including wages and salaries and the purchase of goods and services, according to a new economic impact analysis conducted by an independent firm.

This analysis also estimates more than 17,400 jobs are directly and indirectly supported by the nine racetrack casinos. The New York Gaming Association released part one of the two-part report today to outline the positive economic impact gaming has had on the local economy.

“As illustrated by this report, the nine racetrack casinos that comprise the New York Gaming Association have a proven track record in creating jobs, bolstering funding for education, supporting the racing and breeding industry and assisting local governments,” James Featherstonhaugh, President of New York Gaming Association said. “For years, NYGA members have been trusted partners in their communities who have provided quality racing and gaming to visitors in a responsible manner. Upon the approval of the table games amendment, our members are ready to create thousands of jobs immediately in construction and thousands more permanent jobs upon completion of the construction phase, as well as generate new revenues for education and provide additional support for the racing and breeding industry.”

A second report, which will be released within the next two weeks, will show projections for future regional job growth and revenues that will be generated if table games are authorized in New York at the nine existing racetrack casinos. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State legislature will consider passing a constitutional amendment to authorize live table games. According to estimates from the analysis, in 2011 New York Gaming Association members accounted for 17,400 jobs with 5,431 of those jobs representing direct employment by the nine racetrack casinos.

Wages and salaries for those 17,400 jobs totaled more than $855 million including $141.3 million from those employed directly by New York Gaming Association members. Just as important, our members supported 4,724 jobs for the racing and breeding industry. Additional findings from the report show that, on an annualized basis, New York Gaming Association members in 2011: · Contributed $1.06 billion in State revenues, of which over $830.5 million went towards education in New York State. This is the equivalent of paying the salaries of more than 11,900 elementary and secondary school teachers throughout New York State; and · Accounted directly and indirectly for $73 million in revenues for local municipalities.

The nine Racetrack Casinos comprising the New York Gaming Association include: · Batavia Downs Casino · Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway · Empire Resorts at Monticello Casino & Raceway · Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack · Hamburg Casino at the Fairgrounds (Buffalo Raceway) · Resorts World Casino New York at Aqueduct Racetrack · Saratoga Casino & Raceway · Tioga Downs Casino · Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel

The economic impact analysis study was conducted by Appleseed, a New York City firm that specializes in providing economic and social research analysis.