Updated 03/11/2013 06:02 PM
Casino gaming transparency act unveiled
Lawmakers gathered on the steps of Saratoga's City Hall Monday to announce the Casino Gaming Transparency Act. Our Karen Tararache learned what legislators hope the act will accomplish if passed.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- "They should be voting on the facts, total transparency," Assemblyman Jim Tedisco said on Monday.
Transparency. Lawmakers called for it after the SAFE Act was signed into law. Now, some state officials are asking for clarity when it comes to the future of gaming in the state.
"If we're going to have casino gaming in New York, the voting public has to vote on that and they should know what they're voting on," Assemblyman Tony Jordan stated.
Voters would need to approve an Amendment to the Constitution that would legalize gambling. But before that happens, legislators say the public needs to know what areas are being considered for future casinos.
At the Cabinet meeting on Monday, Governor Cuomo said this about casinos: "The Assembly wants them. The Senate wants them. I want them. We just have a different version of what we want."
“The Governor's position is that they'll look at this after it passes in November. If it passes in November, form a committee, if you will, to determine where they should be located in the state. I think the order needs to be reversed. It's backwards," Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson said.
The act would also protect horse racing and Video Lottery Terminals, or VLTs, by requiring full table gaming at existing locations before establishing new ones.
Jim Tedisco added, "If you start to compete with racinos and a casino, let’s say in Lake George or Albany, you're just going to have diminishing returns. You're going to be taking from Peter to pay Paul."
For some, that means focusing efforts on expanding the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
"This is just the next logical step in a location that is ready and interested," Senator Kathleen Marchione said.
Tedisco insisted the point is “Not re-invent the wheel, but make it a bigger and better wheel. We already have the wheel in existence. We already have the infrastructure that should be used.”