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Lawmaker: Casino is asking for changes to agreement with state

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Lawmaker: Casino is asking for changes to agreement with state

SCHENECTADY -- A local New York State Assemblymember said Wednesday that Rivers Casino is asking lawmakers, who are negotiating this year’s budget, for some changes to its agreement with the state.

Rivers Casino celebrated its one year anniversary last month and told CBS6 News then that it had created more than one thousand jobs and $53 million in new tax revenue. Casino management also admitted that the Casino has not made as much money as projected, and that the market may be smaller than expected.

Democratic Assemblymember Phil Steck said Wednesday that Rivers Casino is trying to fix that by asking lawmakers for some changes to the agreement it made with the state.

“They made a reasonable proposal, which is to use this money to market in the hopes of realizing the larger market that they had hoped to realize,” said Assemblymember Steck.

Assemblymember Steck represents Schenectady, where the Casino is located. He said that among the changes, Rivers wants to get rid of an agreement to reimburse the State for the cost of security screening for its employees. It is a cost that he said the State has never billed the Casino for.

He said the Casino also wants to take 10% of the money it would pay the state and use it for marketing, an allowance he said that other casinos already have.

“Marketing will increase the number of people attending the Casino, which in turn will produce greater revenue for the State and for the City of Schenectady,” he said.

Assemblymember Steck said he has not been an advocate of casinos as a source of state revenue, but that he did support this one with the hopes that it would help the city he represents. He said that it has.

“Rivers pays more of its revenue to the State than any other gambling facility. They are just looking for more of a balance,” he said.

CBS6 News did reach out to the PR firm representing Rivers and was told that the Casino was declining comment.

Another casino in the Finger Lakes part of the State is looking to reduce how much it pays to the State. Governor Cuomo was asked about that Wednesday and told reporters that he did not want to get into the business of bailing out businesses.

Read more http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNGBmZtZ17zw6iF3CYWaVEBJKu34EA&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&ei=hA29WuiqHo3uhAG_67CQAw&url=http://cbs6albany.com/news/local/lawmaker-casino-is-asking-for-changes-to-agreement-with-state

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