Friday, March 16, 2012

Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment responds to expanded gaming amendment of state constitution to allow casino gaming in New York


Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, which owns and operates two upstate New York Casinos, Tioga Downs Casino and Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel, released a statement Thursday in regards to the passage of the expanded gaming bill by the legislators on Wednesday night.

"We are very pleased that Governor Cuomo and the legislature passed the first steps to allow full scale gaming in the state of New York, and would like to thank them for their hard work. The economic benefits of this bill including more than 700 construction and operational jobs between Tioga and Vernon Downs created by expanded gaming in New York State would be a great economic boost to our local regions," said Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment.

The bill that was passed through legislation on Wednesday night paves the way for seven privately owned Casinos in the state to become fully operational casinos to include roulette, craps, poker, and blackjack.

Since the proposed bill is a constitutional amendment, the same bill will once again have to pass through the legislature once again in 2013.

"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," stated Mr. Gural.

"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,” stated Mr. Gural.