Friday, March 19, 2010

Aqueduct deal would open door to more gambling

From the NY Times:

With Albany’s dysfunction searing their fortunes and reputations, why is the same small group of companies insistent on trying to build and run a slot machine casino at a rundown racetrack in southern Queens?

There is the obvious and immediate allure of revenue from the 4,500 video lottery terminals, or V.L.T.’s at Aqueduct racetrack, which could gross several hundred million dollars in their first year. Those are enticing numbers on their own. But the greater attraction may be the potential down the road: the gold-plated possibility that the state is on a path toward further legalization of gambling.

Privately, several bidders have made clear that legalization is where they see things headed. And having a licensed casino, albeit a limited one, in the state’s greatest population center would provide a leg up should that day come.

State Senator Frank Padavan of Queens, who has long opposed gambling, said he believed that the state was indeed heading toward further legalization.

“Sure, they’d like to have a full-fledged casino ultimately,” he said. “The people who are in this business are in the business to milk it for all it’s worth.”

Mr. Padavan called it “a big mistake” to place a casino in a neighborhood “where the majority of the people who would be going in to lose money are frankly people who can least afford it.”

Another motivation that bidders have only hinted at is the potential for future real estate development on the vast Aqueduct site.

The Rev. Floyd H. Flake, who had been a partner in the Aqueduct Entertainment Group until he withdrew earlier last week, spoke about that motivation during a recent interview on the cable station NY1. As a partner, Mr. Flake said, he would be involved not in the gambling aspect of the project but rather in possible future real estate development, including affordable housing.


Anonymous said...

NY State govt - 'we want to tax soda, alcohol, cigarettes, but want to open casinos.' Dont talk about 'sin taxes'

Its about money. Money for them means power and control.

Anonymous said...

I'm still left wondering why a "reverend" is the big player in a gambling operation....

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really believe that Aqueduct "Racino" can compete with Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun as a Destination? Gambling revenue is a big deception, When The Atlantic City Casinos opened the people in the area were told they would all have jobs, highways were going to be improved etc. Most of the casino workers were imported from out of state. The only highway improvements were to the Atlantic City Expressway.
Don't believe the casino operators

Anonymous said...

I went to the track last summer. It was actually a very beautiful property, its a shame to lose the public space there for parking lots and gambling.I guess they feel Queens already has too many parks.

Anonymous said...

Aqueduct is not really that big if you look at what they are going to build on the undeveloped portions of the property. Will Home Depot be razed as part of the plan?

How are earth is traffic going to move through this area or on the adjacent parkway?

Anonymous said...

New York 's Plan:

1) Cut down ALL the trees.

2)Build as man 40 story 'LUXURY' condos as possible.

3) Build a casino that will only be used by working class people that can't afford to gamble.

4) Pave over every square inch of remaining dirt to fit as many SUV's and mini-vans as possible.

5) Tax the surrounding local homeowners up the wazoo in order to pay for this corporate welfare.

6) Watch the flooding from the rooftop restaurant for the priveliged few.

Build, and they will come...