DOB: Casino Expansion Will Generate $430M
The expansion of non-Indian commercial gaming, along with new video lottery terminals and OTB sites on Long Island will generate $430 million in annual revenue for the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office estimates.
The news release from the DOB also provided a county-by-county breakdown for the impact regions of both new casino construction and the revenue sharing agreements struck with the state’s Indian tribes.
All told, the news release represents a new phase of the effort to expand casino gambling in New York, an amendment that is due before voters on Nov. 5.
The amendment authorizes up to seven new casinos and enabling legislation approved this year by state lawmakers provides for four casinos in the Southern Tier, Albany area and Catskills regions.
Earlier this week, an umbrella group called NY Jobs Now was announced featuring elected officials, business and union leaders that is backing the amendment.
At the same time, the amendment’s language as it will appear before voters has been criticized for painting an overly rosy expectation for casino development in the state.
Indeed, the DOB’s own estimations point to the benefits casino development will have on property tax bills and revenue for school districts.
The budget office also claims the casino expansion will have a “statewide impact.” Concerns were raised by state officials earlier this year that the majority of the votes in an odd-numbered election year would come from New York City where there is a mayoral race, but no casinos will be built in the first phase.
Breaking it down, the DOB says annual education aid or property tax relief will receive $238 million annually, plus $192 million in local government aid.
“These estimates are based on an average of the different siting scenarios possible under the Act,” the DOB said. “The methodology for estimated revenues reflects factors such as proximity to population centers, regional income variations, potential impacts on existing VLT facilities, and the applicable tax rates in the gaming regions as specified in the Act. The estimates also include revenue from two new VLT facilities operated by the Nassau and Suffolk OTBs, which are expected to achieve results roughly similar to the VLT facility at the Yonkers raceway on a per machine basis.”
Individual assessments for counties and regions — a tactic that is similar to anyone who has read a news release from Sen. Chuck Schumer — is after the jump.
The regional fiscal impacts of the Act are as follows:
• Western New York/Finger Lakes: $93.1 million annually
• North Country: $16.8 million annually
• Central New York/Mohawk Valley: $44.2 million annually
• Eastern Southern Tier**: $20.1 million annually (includes $6.4 million in host county aid)
• Capital Region**: $35.5 million annually (includes $11.4 million in host county aid)
• Catskill/Hudson Valley**: $51.0 million annually (includes $13.7 million in host county aid)
• New York City: $94.4 million annually
• Long Island: $63.3 million annually
• A potential fourth destination gaming resort would provide an additional $11.7 million annually to counties in one of the eligible Upstate gaming regions.
*The allocations reflect the Act’s preservation of Tribal exclusivity payments to localities in Niagara, Erie, Cattaraugus, St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, and expansion of such payments to Oneida County.
**These regions and municipalities within would receive aid for hosting destination gaming resorts.
According to Division of the Budget estimates, the projected annual revenue allocation accruing to counties and school districts from the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act is as follows:
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