The First Prize for a casino? And how big is the prize for casinos?

First Prize Center.jpg

You know the sign.

Two bits of interesting casino-related news today:

First Prize Center
A company called Capital Gaming LLC has signed a contract to buy the First Prize Center on the Albany/Colonie line, the Biz Review's Mike DeMasi reports -- the company is interested in redeveloping the site into a casino.

The First Prize site, a former meat packing plant, has been the subject of multiple attempts and rumors over the years. The location has potentially great interstate access -- it's right next to I-90 and Everett Road (map).

For what it's worth, voters in the city of Albany and the town of Colonie both narrowly voted against the state casino amendment.

What sort of demand for gambling?
Maybe some perspective and caution from New Jersey: Revenue at Atlantic City casinos dropped below $3 billion in 2013, the AP reports -- it's the first time that's happened in 22 years. And it marks the seventh straight revenue decline for AC casinos since Pennsylvania opened casinos. [via @MahoneyReport]

There's potentially a lot of casino competition in the Northeast over the next decade. There's Atlantic City, there's Pennsylvania, there are the Native American casinos in Connecticut and New York, Massachusetts is adding casinos, and of course, so is New York.

That's a lot of casinos chasing more or less the same pot of money. How many ways can the pot be split before it's no longer worth chasing the money?

Earlier on AOA: Focusing on support for a possible Capital Region casino, town by town


Let's see...dying, decrepit old industrial cities with high taxes, poverty, drugs, gangs, violence,,,what do we need?? HHHHmmmmmm....gambling and legalized pot! I feel like I am in bad dream!!Please wake me from this nightmare. Ever been to Germany...they have industry, jobs, manufacturing, engineering and a rising quality of life.....we have......racino!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would rather see retail or a hotel/restaurant on that site.

"For what it's worth, voters in the city of Albany and the town of Colonie both narrowly voted against the state casino amendment."

I'll reiterate this comment I just made:

Can Albany annex the Colonie portion of that property or would Colonie have to approve first? I imagine they would try to build as much on the Colonie side as possible and likely pay lower taxes, but if Albany is going to be stuck with the traffic and everything else this could bring, it might as well do what it can to benefit from it in whatever way possible.

I agree on the increasing competition in the northeast for gambling options. I am not a gambler, but from a 'business perspective', I wonder aloud if there is actually an expanding market that will meet this boom in development. The Atlantic City data suggests perhaps not.

On the water in Rensselaer is a great spot for a casino. Continued development of the waterfront and improvements to transportation (787) lines and spurs, a train station in spitting distance. Good stuff. But the thing that makes me support casino development are the positive associated elements of it - food establishments, live entertainment, sports, things that do not establish in the capital district without something to support it. The casino is an anchor store in the mall of fun.

I live in this neighborhood and would not like to see a casino in this location. This would be a huge inconvenience to a normally quiet area. How many homes would have to be bought out to make room for the parking? Where will the businesses that are in the building go? While there are spokespeople stating that a casino in the area would not effect traffic on the Times Union website article, I wonder how many of them have been trying to get home off of the I90 Everett Road exit at 5pm? It's already very congested in that area, we don't need anything adding to it. I say this should be brought up for a vote at the next town hall meeting and see how the people who live and raise their families in the surrounding neighborhoods feel!

I'm reading a book "Addiction by Design" by Natasha Dow Schüll.
It's an interesting text on how gambling industry exploits human weakness to extract maximum revenue. Gambling addiction is not just for select few with gross moral lapses: everybody is at risk.
Please don't allow gambling tycoons to make casinos so ...accessible.

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