Items tagged with 'casinos'

Siena poll: Almost a third of Capital Region residents intend to visit Schenectady casino to gamble

Rivers Casino casino floor

The casino opens Wednesday, as you've no doubt heard.

Almost a third of all Capital Region respondents in a new Siena poll say they intend to go to the new Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady at some point to gamble. And about 40 percent said they intend to go there for entertainment of some sort such as dining or the spa.

The Siena Research Institute poll of residents in the following counties: Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady. It was sponsored by New York Council on Problem Gambling.

A few other bits from the poll, which asked people about the casino and other forms of gambling:

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New look for the Schenectady casino project

Rush Street Gaming -- the company that will be operating Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor, AKA the Schenectady casino -- released new designs for the project Thursday.

It's not surprising that the plans for the casino buildings would change in some way -- that happens frequently on projects both big and small. But the new designs are a significant aesthetic shift, from a sleek exterior that featured white cladding and lots of glass to a new look that prominently features brick.

The press release that accompanied the renderings notes the new plans "detail designs that reflect the look and feel of the Schenectady community." And it includes a quote from Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin: "We've arrived at a design to complement the City of Schenectady and the Capital Region. We're very proud of this vision and we are looking forward to starting construction." Extended blurbage:

Rivers Casino will be a $300 million gaming facility featuring a 50,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,150 slot machines and 66 gaming tables. A high-end steakhouse, a "marketplace" with lite fare restaurants, an entertainment lounge, a banquet facility and a spa will also part of the project, as will a 150-room hotel and a parking garage, both to be attached to the gaming facility. Public outdoor open spaces and riverfront walking and biking trails will be part of the project.

The company says the plans have been submitted to the the city of Schenectady Planning Commission for review.

OK, let's have a look at the new renderings, along with some of the designs included in the initial application for comparison...

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Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady picked for Capital Region casino

Rivers Casino Schenectady rendering front small

A rendering of the project.

The state Gaming Facility Location Facility Board has picked the Rivers Casino and Resort project in Schenectady as its recommended site for the Capital Region. The $300 million proposal is part of the Galesi Group's Mohawk Harbor mixed-use project at the former Alco site.

Ahead of the announcement, chairman Kevin Law explained the board sought to select applications that both fit the guidelines laid out in the state law allowing the casinos -- 70 percent economic development, 20 percent local impact, 10 percent jobs -- and also held the most promise of long term success.

Strengths of the Schenectady proposal cited by the board:

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Speed reading the Capital Region casino presentations

capital region casino final 4 renderings

The teams hoping to win the casino license for the Capital Region made their public presentations to the state Gaming Facility Location Board Monday at the ESP. It was four hours of promo videos, powerpoint, and projections.

We watched so you didn't have to. Here's the whole afternoon in a quick scan...

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Amsterdam casino app bounced

amsterdam florida casino rendering

One of the renderings included with the Amsterdam/Florida casino site application.

The state Gaming Facility Location Board -- AKA, the people who will be picking which projects get granted a casino license -- disqualified the application for the proposed Amsterdam/Florida casino in Montgomery County at a meeting Thursday evening.

The unanimous decision was based on a determination the group backing the project had filed an incomplete application (the board's staff cited incomplete sections of the app in in a document for Thursday's board meeting). The board decided that considering the incomplete app would be unfair to the other competitors.

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What the proposed Capital Region casinos could end up looking like

casino app rendering composite

They range from sleek to rustic to whatever you call that certain unmistakably "casino" aesthetic.

Update August 8, 2014: The Amsterdam/Florida application has been rejected after the siting board determined the application incomplete.

The state Gaming Commission posted the (probably literal) tons of documents filed for the casino license applications last week. (And then unposted them. And then re-posted them.)

You could spend days going through the docs and no doubt there are people doing just that. We're hoping to dig through files for interesting bits. In the meantime, though, we thought it'd be interesting to get a sense of one thing: What would the proposed Capital Region casinos look like?

The design of the casinos isn't necessarily the most important thing about them, but they are in line to become a prominent architectural feature of whatever site ends up winning the license. And in some cases they could occupy prominent spots in the area (example: the proposed casino on the Rensselaer riverfront).

So, we pulled out renderings from all five Capital Region applications.

And here they are...

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Casinos 5 years from now? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thumbnail image for roulette wheel by Hakan Dahlstrom FlickrA Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll out this week asked people in the upstate regions being considered for casinos to predict five years from now whether the passing the casino amendment will be a good or bad decision. The responses:

Good decision: 17 percent
Bad decision: 19 percent
Both positives and negatives: 61 percent

Among the other questions:

Where did people stand on the casino amendment last November
+ In favor of: 36 percent / Opposed to: 28 percent / No opinion: 35 percent
+ For the Capital Region, the breakdown was: 35 / 30 / 33
(Capital Region counties voted 52-48 against the amendment.)

Do you now support or oppose a casino in the Capital Region?
+ Overall - support: 44 percent / oppose: 40 percent / need more info: 11
+ Capital Region respondents - support: 49 / oppose: 40 / need more info: 11
(This question was asked for each region.)

In this situation, SRI considered the Capital Region to be: Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington counties. Margin of error for total responses: +/- 3.4 percentage points; for Capital Region responses: +/- 5.9 percentage points.

photo: Flickr user Håkan Dahlström (cc)

Report: Pessimism for casinos in the longterm

Thumbnail image for roulette wheel by Hakan Dahlstrom FlickrBecause casinos. From the summary of a Fitch Ratings report projecting longterm trends for regional casinos, revenue growth for which Fitch concludes will "remain challenging":

We attribute this pessimism to longer term structural macroeconomic and secular factors. Notable factors include saturation across regional markets; stagnant wages among the lower tier players; reprioritization of disposable income; proliferation of online/social gaming; potentially lower propensity to gamble among younger generations; and lowered preparedness for retirement by baby boomers.

A recent Moody's outlook for the short term came to a similar conclusion.

Also: From a Capital today, a report that some of the applicants for the Hudson Valley casino licenses will be seeking property tax breaks.

Earlier on AOA:
+ A map of where casinos are already located in and around New York State
+ Scanning the summaries of the Capital Region casino applications

photo: Flickr user Håkan Dahlström (cc)

Scanning the summaries of the Capital Region casino applications

capital view east greenbush casino rendering

A rendering of the proposed Capital View Casino & Resort in East Greenbush.

The state Gaming Commission has posted the executive summaries from the recently filed casino license applications. So we read through the summaries from the five proposed Capital Region projects and pulled out some bits that caught our eye. A quick scan is after the jump.

The teams hoping to win a casino license will give oral presentations to the state Gaming Facility Location Board sometime after July 21. And the state has said it's aiming to have selections by the fall.

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The casino wheel keeps spinning

delaets landing site from corning tower

Can you picture a casino here?

The death of the E23 casino proposal in Albany probably shouldn't be a shock.

The lack of specifics. The delay in officially announcing an operator. The canceled presentations. When you run the series of events, a dead end isn't exactly a surprise twist.

A few thoughts now that the developers behind the E23 project have spurned Albany in favor of the DeLaet's Landing site on the Rensselaer riverfront.

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A closer look at potential support -- and opposition -- to an Albany casino, by ward

roulette wheel by Hakan Dahlstrom Flickr

As the wheel spins, where will the city of Albany land?

As the wheel spins on the selection process for a Capital Region casino site, the question of which communities do -- or don't -- support a casino will be a key part of the discussion because the state's selection criteria require a local resolution of support for such a project.

Already, both Rensselaer and Rensselaer County have passed resolutions in favor of a casino. And the Saratoga Springs council passed a resolution opposing (for now) a casino in the city. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

Now the Albany Common Council is considering a resolution in support of the E23 casino proposal for the southern edge of the city. And Albany is an interesting case because its voters pretty much split right down the middle on the state amendment to allow full casinos last fall, narrowly opposing it 51-49.

But so far, city officials have appeared to be at least generally open to considering support for the casino project. And as mayor Kathy Sheehan said after the developers backing the project made their first pitch:

"In the city of Albany it was narrowly defeated, but in many of our wards that have some of the most significant challenges economically, it passed overwhelmingly. So we need to listen to our residents. That's why we heard today that this is a process. We need to engage the public and have the public be heard."

So, this is all a long way of saying: We thought it'd be interesting to see how the vote on the state casino amendment last fall shaped up in the city of Albany by ward. We pulled the numbers, and they're after the jump as a map and table with a few notes.

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E23: The proposal for an Albany casino

e23 casino rendering2

A rendering of the proposed casino/resort.

The management group proposing a casino/resort for a parcel of land on the city of Albany's south side made its initial pitch to the Common Council Friday afternoon with an overview of the project.

The casino -- currently dubbed "Project E23" because it'd be adjacent to Exit 23 on the Thruway -- promises a shot of new tax revenue for the city and 1,800 permanent jobs. And unlike the proposal previously floated for the First Prize site, city officials appear to be generally open to listening to the pitch.

Here's a quick overview of the proposal and a few of the issues.

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Capital Region casino site odds

roulette wheel by Hakan Dahlstrom Flickr

Spin the wheel!

The other day we joked on Twitter that someone had to be taking bets on the location of the possible Capital Region casino. And Erik was all like, "I'm pretty sure that's your job."

Well, then. Step right up! Let's throw out some odds...

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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

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

capital region casino support by town map composite

Don't squint, and don't scratch your head -- it'll make sense when you see the bigger versions.

The Capital Region is in line to get a casino as part of the vote to allow full casino gambling last fall (as you know). And based on comments made by Andrew Cuomo in last week's State of the State address, the selection of the casino site is scheduled to happen sometime during the six months or so.

As the selection process picks up, the discussion around it is focusing in part not just on where a casino might be viable, but also which municipalities do -- or don't -- want one of the gambling facilities. Examples: The vocal opposition in Saratoga Springs to a full casino, despite conventional wisdom that the Spa City would be a leading potential site; or, conversely, the mayor of Rensselaer's lobbying for his city to be in the running.

The casino selection process doesn't include local approval. Even so, we thought it'd be interesting to get a better feel for how cities and towns in the Capital Region might be leaning on the issue based on how residents voted last November on the state constitutional amendment that allowed casinos.

So we pulled the vote totals on the ballot question for the Capital Region by town, mapped 'em, and also put together some "tree maps" (kind of like square pie charts) to get a sense of how a city or town's support or opposition fits into the whole.

That's a long way of saying: look at these maps and charts...

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How New York's deck of counties split on the casino vote

nys counties casino vote majorities map

Red = counties in which a majority voted "yes." Black = counties in which a majority voted "no." (Corrected.)

One of the items up for a vote Tuesday was a proposed New York State constitutional amendment that would allow up to seven full casinos around the state, starting upstate. The Cuomo admin has been pushing the idea as economic development, and framed it that way again after the vote. [NYS BOE] [NYT] [Cuomo admin]

The amendment was approved, 57-43. But support around the state was evenly distributed. In fact, majorities in three of the Capital Region's four core counties voted against it -- one of the majority "no" counties was Saratoga, which has a good chance of ending up with a casino. [NYS BOE]

We pulled the unofficial vote tallies on the casino amendment and mapped the results by county. Two clickable maps are after the jump.

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