it’s time to write to the Location Board

– click for a one-page handout with the information below –

updated October 1, 2014:

If you have not done so already, we urge you to let the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board know that you are opposed to having a casino in Schenectady. As part of its casino application review process, the Board will consider all comments, no matter when they are received. Because the Board may make its decision by the end of October, comments should be sent as soon as possible.

Email and Letters can be sent to Gail P. Thorpe: Email address:

USPS address: NYS Gaming Commission, Contracts Office, One Broadway Center, Schenectady, NY 12301-7500.

   We believe that the promised benefits claimed for the casino are exaggerated and uncertain, and may be of short duration, as more and more casinos are constructed. Any benefits are clearly outweighed by the negative results that are likely to occur in our community. Moreover, basing the Government’s fiscal policy on casino revenues is inappropriate, as it will unfairly take money from the poor and most vulnerable, and their families.

In addition, Schenectady is not so desperate for development that it should gamble with a casino strategy for economic growth. For years, our leaders have taken credit for revitalizing the City, with many new jobs and businesses, and over $830 million in investment since 2004. Moreover, the Galesi Group says it will develop Mohawk Harbor, and remediate the brownfields, with or without a casino — an investment of $200 million, the biggest in the City’s history. Our proud reputation for manufacturing and technology should not be cashed in for the image of a small-time casino town.

Here are some of reasons that members of Stop the Schenectady Casino have for our opposition to having a casino operated at Mohawk Harbor (the old ALCO plant site) by Rush Street Gambling:

  • Injury to local businesses due to the casino taking a large portion of dollars consumers in this area would spend on leisure and entertainment, with most visitors coming from less than 50 miles, causing business bankruptcies, staff reductions, closings. The amenities at the casino will keep day-trippers on the casino lot, not out spreading their wealth across the community.
  • An increase in crime, such as drug sales, prostitution, purse-snatching, DUI, car theft and break-ins, especially near the casino, plus domestic violence; and embezzlement, fraud and financial crimes;
  • More problem gambling, and gambling by the elderly and the very poor, with a casino close-by and open 24/7, bringing much stress and injury to families as well as the entire community.
  • A serious threat to the Stockade Neighborhood’s residential nature, despite its legal protection as a historic district, with more crime and traffic, due to having a casino only a few blocks away.
  • Danger for Young Gamblers, with the Union College campus within half of a mile, and its biggest dorm one block away. Studies show that younger gamblers are more vulnerable to becoming problem gamblers, especially if they drink heavily, have easy access to a casino, and have friends who gamble. Rush Street Gambling’s experience marketing to potential young gamblers makes the location particularly worrisome.

For more information, discussion, photos, links to reference material, and more, browse this website.

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