Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway could be one of the biggest losers if a casino is built in Orange County.
Yonkers Raceway spokeswoman Taryn Duffy said in a statement that a casino in Orange County would negate the goal of putting casinos in places of greatest need.
“Like many others, we believe a casino in Orange County would negate the intent of the gaming legislation to bring targeted economic development to areas in need,” she said.
She said that a casino in Orange County would hurt its business and impact its employment. Empire City, for example, employs nearly 450 residents of the Bronx, which has the highest unemployment in the state.
Yonkers is among the places that would vie for a casino license after the seven-year exclusivity period for the upstate casinos expires.
“If the sole intent of expanding gaming was to create jobs and revenue regardless of location, the state could have easily done that by issuing full gaming licenses to Empire City and other existing casinos,” Duffy added.
In a letter June 16, the Gaming Commission executive director Robert Williams disputed claims that Orange County is a lock for a casino, saying the law is aimed to ensure that high-need areas, particularly Sullivan County, would be given consideration.
White Plains developer Louis Cappelli is working with Mohegan Sun, based in Connecticut, for a casino at the former Concord.
“Mohegan Sun at the Concord will be a unique destination with one-of-a-kind amenities that will attract a new generation of visitors to this former center of tourism in the beautiful Catskills,” Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said in a statement.
Supporters of a casino for Newburgh, which is in Orange County, said their city needs the revenue and jobs from the development. The proposal is to build a casino near the state Thruway at the Newburgh exit.
“Of all the communities facing economic struggle in the Catskill/Hudson Valley region, none face as daunting a challenge as Newburgh,” Mayor Judy Kennedy said in a letter to the Gaming Commission on June 19.