TV ad campaign: Racinos ‘reliable partner(s) for education’

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The New York Gaming Association will launch a television advertising campaign tomorrow touting the funds that the state’s racetrack casinos raise for public education.

The association’s nine racinos have contributed $3.4 billion to education since 2004 — including more than $550 million so far in 2012, according to the New York Division of the Lottery.

“We are incredibly proud of our record of successfully providing for the state’s school children,” James Featherstonhaugh, the group’s president, said. “Our racetrack casinos have been part of the communities they serve for generations, providing not only entertainment, but positively contributing to communities by helping to control property taxes and funding education.”

A 30-second commercial presenting racinos as “reliable partner(s) for education” will air in eight markets, including Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and New York City. It will run for two weeks during the back-to-school season.

Last month, NYGA announced that its members, which operate at a tax rate of 68 percent, have generated $620 million in revenue for New York, according to statistics covering the first six months of 2012. That is nearly double the amount of revenue the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City casinos generated for their home states combined despite having full-fledged casinos.

A constitutional amendment that will allow for up to seven casinos in New York must be approved in two consecutive terms of the Legislature before going to voters. The measure passed last year, so it must pass this year in order to advance.

Here’s the spot:

The commercial’s voiceover relays the following message:

“What do racetrack casinos mean for New York? Reliable funding for our schools, which means lower property taxes for all of us. New York’s racetrack casinos pay one of the highest tax rates in the country, contributing billions for New York schools. Next year alone, they’ll provide $1 billion dollars for our schools — equaling the salaries of nearly 13,000 teachers. A reliable partner for education… just as our kids head back to school. New York’s racetrack casinos. The best choice for New York’s schools.”

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