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Upstate Casino Owners Applaud Passage Of Gaming Bill

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Vernon, NY (WIBX) – The agreement on a bill that will allow full scale casino gambling in New York, is being hailed by the Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment. The company owns and operates Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols, and Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel in Vernon. In a released statement, Jeff Gural said the move paves the way for seven privately owned casinos in the state to be converted to fully operational casinos. He adds that the upgrade will also allow for better competition with Native American casinos.

Gural said, “We look forward to meeting with state officials and make the argument that both Tioga and Vernon are well suited to be converted to full casinos and that we are prepared to make significant capital improvements at both facilities in order to justify the Governor’s goal of creating jobs and additional revenue for the state. We hope the state will take into account the fact that at Vernon we are competing with a Native American Casino that pays no taxes and has table games which puts us at a decided disadvantage. In addition, Vernon already has a hotel and we recently invested over $8,000,000 to add convention facilities that have proved to be very popular. We look forward to working with the state once they have developed criteria as to where they think the seven licenses should go.”

Gural says the economic benefit of the bill amounts to more than 700 construction and operational jobs between Tioga and Vernon Downs alone. Because the bill is a constitutional amendment, it will have to pass through the legislature again in 2013.

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