MONEY ON THE TABLE, part 2

emptyPockets Summary: Mayor Gary McCarthy of Schenectady failed to obtain a host community agreement or impact mitigation plan from Rush Street Gaming and the Galesi Group, either prior to approving their Mohawk Harbor casino proposal, or later when granting major zoning and planning concessions to the casino.  In contrast, as in Massachusetts and across the nation, several of the other potential host municipalities in Upstate New York did successfully enter into such agreements with their local casino applicant.

Those Host-Casino agreements included benefits such as: Substantial payments to the Host prior to the opening of the casino, guaranteed amounts of annual revenues, lump and annual payments to mitigate direct and indirect negative impacts from operation of the casino, funding for community and neighborhood projects, real estate tax commitments, local hiring preferences, and more. [For example, see the Host Community Agreement, of the Town of Tyre, which will soon be the home of the Lago Casino, and which is discussed in detail below.]

Mayor McCarthy owes us a full, honest explanation for the failure of his Administration to protect and promote the interests of our City and community by insisting on a host community or mitigation plan agreement, when the leaders of so many other cities and towns undertook that crucial task. Why did Mr. McCarthy leave so much Money On The Table (“MOTT”) and ask so little of his “partners” Rush Street and Galesi?

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mayorgarymccarthy2013

Mayor Gary McCarthy

 In our prior posting, “Mayor McCarthy left millions on the casino table (April 26, 2015),” we asked our Mayor how it could be that Rush Street Gaming was willing to give so much to the cities of Philadelphia PA and Brockton MA, but has been able to achieve its entire wish list in Schenectady without making firm revenue guarantees to our City, offering pre-opening payments, or granting funds for the benefit of the community and neighborhoods. On May 11th, two weeks after that posting, a Schenectady resident raised that question at a City Council meeting, and a red-faced Gary McCarthy accused the speaker of getting misinformation from “that blog” [that is, us], and offered two excuses: (1) Massachusetts law requires such agreements and (2) in New York, the casino pays gaming taxes to the State, which distributes them to Host counties and municipalities, so applicants can’t promise payments to the host community.

We anticipated and explained the fallacy of the Mayor’s 1st Excuse in the earlier post. Massachusetts law mandates only that mitigation payments be addressed and responsibilities of host and casino be stated in a Host Community Agreement. It otherwise neither requires that any particular topics be addressed nor specifies the types of outcomes that must be achieved.

We note here that the 2nd Excuse completely overlooks at least two important facts: (1) Nothing in New York law prohibits a municipality from asking for, or a casino from giving, firm guarantees and additional payments to the Host government and community, and (2) New York’s gaming laws and regulations do in fact obligate a casino applicant to document the plans and commitments it has made to mitigate the impact of their proposed casino.  Moreover, the Gaming Commission has stated that “The Applicant is encouraged to work with a Host Municipality to reach what each considers appropriate mitigation”. It also answered a direct inquiry as to whether tax and fee payments made by the gaming facility may be “considered as part of the mitigation measures for the host municipality and nearby municipalities” with a very clear, one-word answer: “No”. (See Round 1 – Q&A, Location Board Report and Findings, at 489) That is contrary to Rush Street’s repeated refrain in Schenectady that revenues paid to the City from casino operations would cover any potential impacts, thereby requiring no additional payments to mitigate expected negative impacts.

smallquestionmark In this posting, we ask what may be an even more important question: Why is it that so many potential host municipalities in upstate New York not only asked their Casino Applicant for specific promises and additional payments but succeeded in entering into generous agreements with casino developers and operators long before the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board made its selections on December 17, 2014? Whether they called them Community Benefit Agreements, Host Community Agreements, or Impact Mitigation Plans, other New York State towns and cities got significant promises from applicants hoping to making scores of millions of dollars from operating a gaming facility, but who first needed the approval of the proposed host municipality. Indeed, at times it was the applicant who opened the discussion of benefit agreements and mitigation plans.

For example, click on the Casino Benefits Chart compiled by the Times-Herald Record last July, showing nine applicants in the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region. The accompanying article “Casino developers offering towns pot of gold” (July 28, 2014), notes: “As casino developers vie to get a piece of New York’s gambling pie, they have offered the moon and more to communities where they hope to build. And municipalities aren’t shy about driving a hard bargain, as consultants paid for by the developers tell them it’s an industry practice.” (As discussed near the end of this posting, Rush Street Gaming was one of the applicants bestowing largesse in the Hudson Valley, and in fact giving it out to nearby governmental entities, rather than to the Host Municipality.)

red check To protect the interests of their residents, other potential Host towns (as well as nearby municipalities) did what any good businessman or politician would do: They negotiated from strength with casino hopefuls who needed local approval before they could even submit an application to the Board. They leveraged the requirement stated in the authorizing statute [Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act of 2013§1316(5-7)], the resultant Gaming Commission Regulations [§5300.1(f)], and the Location Board’s Request for Applications, that each developer submit a description of its commitments to mitigate impacts of the proposed casino on each host municipality and nearby areas. As one news report stated, casino applicants “must provide studies completed by independent experts showing the impacts and submit copies of all agreements demonstrating mitigation commitments.” See “Casinos prepare applications for final review”, pressconnects.com, June 21, 2014.

Just a dozen miles down Route 5, Kathleen Sheehan, the Mayor of Albany, was in the same position as Mayor McCarthy and local leaders across the State: This was the first time her City and Administration ever faced the prospect of a gaming facility coming to town, with any potential casino applicant needing the approval of the local legislative body before it could apply for the casino license. Sheehan had the expected and appropriate response of the head of a municipal government to the challenge: She wanted to learn the City’s rights and options, and to know what cities had done elsewhere, as preparation for discussions with any Applicant. In the words of columnist Michael DeMasi at the Albany Business Review (March 26, 2014):

Mayor Kathy Sheehan wants to hire a law firm with expertise in casino gambling, land use and community benefit agreements as Albany, NY considers a developer’s proposal to build a $300 million-plus resort casino on the outskirts of the city.

“We think it’s very important that the city’s interests be well represented as we consider this opportunity,” Sheehan told me today. “We need to understand what our legal rights are and what we need to be advocating for in the context of the size and scope of this project.”

She added, “We have not had a $300 million, private-sector project ever [in the city] to my knowledge.”

The city on Monday issued a Request for Proposals for legal services, just a week after Sheehan first learned of the project being pursued by Flaum Management Co. Inc., a large commercial real estate developer based in Rochester.

. . . Sheehan does not know how much the legal services will cost, but said it’s possible the city would seek to have the fees paid for by the developer as part of the review process.

As a result, Mayor Sheehan hired attorney, Jonathan Silverstein of Kopelman and Paige P.C. in Boston, who had negotiated more than a dozen Host Community Agreements on behalf of cities and towns in Massachusetts. And, potential applicant Flaum Management paid lawyer Silverstein’s fees on behalf of the City. (See Albany Business Review, May 15, 2014). Meanwhile, Mayor McCarthy apparently decided to go with the minimal in-house expertise of his own Law and Planning Departments, and to look to the Applicant for good faith actions and advice.

In addition, whereas Albany council members wanted to be actively involved in the negotiation process and “want[ed] a host benefits agreement to include an upfront payment to the city (Id.),” McCarthy’s majority on the Schenectady City Council were satisfied with being cheerleaders and adopting a passive legislative and policy role predicated on implicitly trusting the casino partners and their Mayor.

 TyreLogo Lago at Tyre. More telling than Albany’s efforts to obtain a community host agreement is what happened with the Lago Casino in the Town of Tyre, a tiny agricultural community, which was the eventual “winner” in the Finger Lakes Region. Although Tyre has a population below one thousand, its leaders had a thoughtful and thorough response when they learned that the Wilmorite Corp. [also known as Wilmot] wanted to put a casino on a parcel within the Town. Beyond getting itself good legal advice and keeping its residents fully informed and involved, the Town commissioned the study “Impacts of Wilmot Casino on the Primary Impact Area: Emphasis on Socioeconomic & Public Safety” (June 2014, 44-pages), which was prepared by the Center for  Governmental Research, in Rochester, NY. Tyre also requested Cornell University to review and summarize a compilation of Canadian studies on the impact of casinos, especially problem gambling. 

The well-informed leaders of the Town of Tyre Board of Supervisors were, therefore, prepared to negotiate a Host Community Agreement [“Tyre HCA”, June 2014, ] with the Applicant. (The HCA notes on its title page that the Agreement constitutes a “Community Mitigation Plan, as Contemplated by the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act of 2013.”) The lengthy list of responsibilities accepted and covenants made by Wilmorite, the Tyre-Lago Applicant, is a testament to the thoroughness of preparation of the parties, and also to the strong desire of Wilmorite to secure the approval of the Town Board and be a good neighbor if it were selected for the Finger Lakes Region gaming license.  (For a good summary of the terms of the Tyre HCA, see “Details of casino host community agreement unveiled“, Finger Lakes Times, by David L. Shaw, June 13, 2014.)

LagoLogo The Lago Casino owner-devloper agreed that, among other things, it would:

• Pay all costs and expenses incurred by the town for attorneys, accountants, engineers, consultants and others in connection with the casino review process.

• Pay the town $100,000 annually from 2016-21 for the purchase of development rights or other action related to the preservation of agricultural land in the town, to mitigate the loss of farmland.

• Preserve the graves in six known burial sites on the land.

• Pay for the training of a security force acceptable to the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office; for special training of deputies, as needed; and up to $100,000 a year for the anticipated hiring of an additional deputy because of the casino.

• Pay the cost of a new high-rise firefighting equipment for six Magee Fire Department firefighters and will pay the cost of a ladder truck for the department.

• Pay for any medical training required by North Seneca Ambulance personnel who respond to the casino for emergencies. If North Seneca handles a casino patient whose insurance does not cover the entire cost, the company will make up the difference.

• To fulfill a previous agreement with Seneca County Mental Health Department, pay for hiring one additional problem gambling treatment and one additional problem gambling prevention specialist. [Note: the protocol for setting up a Problem Gamblin g Prevention, Outreach and Education Program looks like a good place for Schenectady County to start to construct its own program.]

• Pay all on-site employees wages no less than 75 percent of the national average for each occupation.

MoneyBag neg To mitigate impacts on town services, pay the town $750,000 in 2015, $2 million on Jan. 15, 2016 (prior to operation), and $2 million on Jan. 15, 2017. For 2018 and beyond, the impact fee will be at least $2 million and be adjusted by formula. Once it begins operation, the Casino will receive credit for Gaming Tax Revenues received by the Town. That is, the Casino must make a prepayment of the annual minimum Impact Fee each January 15, with the Town refunding to the Casino the amount that it receives as Gaming Tax Revenues each year.

• Construct, install, operate and maintain, a six-inch private-force sanitary sewer main from the casino to the existing Petro orRoute 414 pump station.  And, construct and install a new water-line connection to the existing 12-inch water line located on the east side of Route 414, and work to create or extend a water district that includes the casino site. [Note: as anticipated by the Location Board’s application form, the Schenectady casino applicant has stated it will make analogous necessary utility improvements.]

• Design a telecommunications infrastructure for the casino, with at least one strand of fiber-optic cable dedicated to the town and its residents.

  • Implement, at its sole cost and expense, all actions described in the Engineer’s Report prepared for the SEQRA review, and perform all other traffic improvements recommended or required by the New York State Department of Transportation. [Lago estimates that the traffic mitigation measures will cost $4,152,500.]

• Apply to the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes on property and other taxes. [In the resulting accord with the County IDA, Lago agreed to pay $45.3 million over a 20-year period. That amount, according to the Agency’s estimates, is $3.83 million more than Lago Resort would pay if the project were fully taxed under the New York State statutory 485-b exemptions, which are available to businesses that invest $10,000 or more per year on building enhancements. See IDA Press Release, Feb. 12, 2015.]

  • Recognize the right of property owners near the Project to continue farming consistent with past practice using good agricultural practices.
  • Limit its lodging facilities to no more than 220 rooms, unless the Company provides the Town with independent forecasts that demand exists in the area for additional rooms, in order to limit the impact on other lodging establishments in the region, during the first ten years after gaming operations open to the public.

• Take out a $4 million mortgage on the project to secure the company’s obligations to the Town and County. The town will be given first priority lien on the mortgage.

  • Engage in Periodic Review and good-faith negotiation to deal with additional payments for unanticipated or miscalculated impacts, up to $1 million per year.

In accepting the Tyre HCA, the Lago Casino developer acknowledged that construction and operation of Lago would have both direct and indirect impacts on the community. Unlike the Mohawk Harbor Applicants in Schenectady, who denied or trivialized any impact on Schenectady or nearby communities, Wilmorite signed an Agreement stating:

Direct Impacts. The Company acknowledges that the construction and operation of the Project will cause direct impacts on the Town and its residents, including but not limited to impacts on Town infrastructure, environment, public safety, emergency services, social and other impacts (“Direct Impacts”). The Company shall mitigate the Direct Impacts in the manner described in this Article III.

. . . [And]  Indirect Impacts. (a) The Company acknowledges that, in addition to the Direct Impacts described above, the Project will also have known and unknown indirect impacts on the Town and its residents, related to or indirectly resulting from the construction and operation of the Project from time to time (“Indirect Impacts”). Indirect Impacts include, but are not limited to:

(1) increased use of Town services;

(2) increased use of Town infrastructure;

(3) the need for additional Town infrastructure, facilities, equipment and employees;

(4) increased traffic and traffic congestion;

(5) issues related to public health, safety, welfare and addictive behavior;

(6) issues relating to quality of life; and

7) costs related to mitigating other indirect impacts to the Town and its residents.

Schenectady’s City Hall never demanded a benefits or mitigation agreement with Rush Street and Galesi.  Indeed, the Mayor and his Administration, Metroplex, County officials, the Chamber of Commerce, and hopeful casino vendors, have never admitted to any likely negative effects. As a consequence, the City never did or commissioned any independent research or investigation that could be used to rebut the glib and facetious claims of the Schenectady Applicant that its casino would have no significant added costs or negative impact on the City, nearby neighborhoods or towns, or the County. This lack of vital information caused the only non-Democrat on City Council, Vince Riggi, to refuse to vote in favor of the proposed casino.

TuxedoMasthead Sterling Forest at Tuxedo. Like the Town Supervisor and Board in Tyre, the leadership in the Town of Tuxedo, NY, negotiated with its casino Applicant, Genting, and achieved a comprehensive and generous Host Community Agreement related to the Sterling Forest Resort proposal.  In his Supervisor’s Update to the residents of Tuxedoon July 21, 2014 Town Supervisor Michael Rost summarized:

 “I believe our board, with the assistance of its advisors and input from the community, has negotiated a very favorable commitment package from Genting. As discussed at our public meetings, among other things, the Host Community Agreement commits Genting to provide $50 million of funding to the Town of Tuxedo for capital projects to be selected by the Town Board as well as for fire, police and EMS equipment and training.  We expect to receive the first $1.5 million installment (which is nonrefundable) this month, with the balance to be paid over time if Genting receives the necessary approvals to proceed with the project.  The Agreement will provide various other continuing benefits to the Town if Genting receives the necessary approvals for the project, including guaranteed annual tax income that will more than double the Town’s current revenue base as well as annual support for the Tuxedo School District that will remain in place as long as the proposed casino resort remains in operation.”

Click on this link for the full 33-page Tuxedo Sterling Forest Host Community Agreement; and click here for an excerpted 3-page list of Payments Due under the HCA.  Had Genting been chosen by the Location Board, almost $50 million dollars would have been paid by Genting to the Town of Tuxedo prior to the opening of the casino, to use for capital, beautification, and community projects and various impact expenses. In addition, the Town was guaranteed a minimum of $3.5 million in property tax intake and minimum of $7.4 million in gaming tax revenues per year.

Yes, Sterling Forest was a plum location and would have generated more gaming revenues than Rivers at Mohawk Harbor. But, a proportional set of fixed payments from the Schenectady Casino to the City would have brought many millions of dollars into the City’s coffers before casino opening, and give Schenectady considerable security into the future.

rendering of proposed Caesars casino resort in Woodbury NY   Caesars at Woodbury. Caesars New York entered into Host Community Agreements with both the Town and the Village of Woodbury. Caesars projected that total impacts to the host communities resulting from the casino project would be approximately $8.8 million each year in the average case. The terms of the HCAs were presented in Caesars Application to the Location Board (Exhibit IX.A.1.a.):

Town of Woodbury Agreement

  • Upfront payment of $4 million paid over four years, starting 90 days after licensure
  • Direct Impact Payments: commitment to pay 100% of reasonable impact payments to mitigate cost of additional police, judicial, general administration and additional municipal services as a result of the gaming facility.
  • Payment of proportionate share of real estate taxes based upon minimum valuation of $19 million
  • Additional commitments include workforce development, support of local business, traffic impact mitigation and enhancement of water, sewer and support of municipal objectives
  • Payment of all costs of Town in negotiating agreement and determining facility impacts

Village of Woodbury Agreement SlicingThePie

  • Upfront contribution of $6 million towards community projects payable partially during the construction period and spread into operating years
  • Impact Mitigation: Upfront and ongoing payments for mitigation of all impacts, including private ambulance service, fire personnel, training costs and workforce development, traffic sewer, and water.
  • Payment of share of real estate taxes based upon minimum valuation of $19 million
  • Two all-weather turf ball fields
  • Payment of all costs of Village in negotiating agreement and determining facility impacts
  • $0.1 million annually for addiction disorders

In addition, Caesars committed $20 million to fund Town and Village traffic improvements.

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NeveleLogoNevelle Resort Casino & Spa at Wawarsing. The Nevele Corp. entered into a Community Mitigation Plan Agreement with the Town of Wawarsing and the Village of Ellenwood.  In its Application to the Location Board, Nevele explained:

Nevele is firmly committed to ensuring that the projected impacts of the Project on the Host Municipalities and surrounding communities are adequately mitigated. To that end, we have spent considerable time and effort working with the Host Municipalities and surrounding communities to ensure the impacts addressed in the studies are recognized and understood, and that specific concerns of the local communities have been discussed. The culmination of this process is the Community Mitigation Plan Agreement (the “CMP Agreement”) that we have entered into with the Town of Wawarsing (the “Town”) and the Village of Ellenville (the “Village”).

Among the terms agreed to by Nevele:

  • $100,000 annually for court operations in the town of Wawarsing and village of Ellenville
  • 50% of ladder truck expense
  • up to $30,000 for security cameras at the airport
  • $100,000 annually for DARE and public education officer
  • granting a 5-mile easement across its property for the Hudson Valley Rail Trail
  • approx. $50,000 a year to promote local theater group and other cultural entities (through, e.g., ticket purchases).

See “Nevele casino developer outlines benefits to surrounding area” (Daily Freeman, by Patricia Dorsey, July 29, 2014); “Nevele project now shovel-ready, has bigger price tag” (Capitol Confidential, Albany Times Union, by James Odato, June 13, 2014)

Miscellaneous Mitigation Plans 

LocBdReprot27FEb2015A quick look at the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board’s Report and Findings on its casino selection process yesterday, issued February 27, 2015, yields the following additional information about additional impact mitigation plans by casino supplicants during the 2014 location selection process.

Traditions Resort and Casino at Union NY.  “Based on estimates of the fiscal impacts to the Town of Union’s municipal service expenditures resulting from the casino development, Traditions began discussions with local municipalities to enter into agreements mitigating these impacts. . . Traditions committed to contribute a total of $140,000 in annual funding to the Town of Union to mitigate impacts to the municipality’s street infrastructure, culture and recreation and home and community service expenditures. In addition, Traditions planned to reach an agreement with the Endwell Volunteer Fire Department providing for $90,000 in annual funding. . . The bulk of the impact mitigation payments likely would have been directed to the Broome County Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $200,000 annually to cover operational expenses. Further, Traditions proposed to develop mutually acceptable mitigation solution for any unanticipated impacts.” (Findings, at 319)

In addition, “Traditions proposed to pay up to $100,000 per year for the first five years to the respective school district [out of three local districts], upon request, to offset additional expenses incurred by the school district as a result of an increase in student population as a direct result of families relocating to the Town of Union for casino employment.” (Id, at 320)

Traffic/Road Infrastructure: This category was probably the one most often cited in the Board’s Findings Report. Examples:

  • The Grand Hudson Resort Casino was committed to $800,000 in traffic infrastructure improvements
  • Capital View Casino would fund over $9 million in road and highway work
  • The Montreign Resort Casino and the fee owner of the property would pay an estimated $7.7 million for traffic mitigation measures. Its traffic  mitigation proposal “served as a partial basis for the Town of Thompson approving the site plan for the project.”
  • As mentioned above, Caesars committed to spend minimum of $20 million to improve traffic circulation around the resort
  • Our Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor committed to execute a number of traffic infrastructure projects, which were estimated to cost approximately $350,000. Unlike other applicants, the Schenectady developer does not offer to reimburse the State or City for work recently completed in the vicinity of its facility, or projects already planned and funded (i.e., the traffic rotary at Erie Blvd. and Nott Street) that are integral to the traffic infrastructure needed to achieve an acceptable level of service once the gaming begins at Mohawk Harbor, and to offering visitors an attractive entry into Schenectady.
  • .

HVLogo Hudson Valley Casino & Resort at Newburgh. Hudson Valley [“HV”] is placed last in this posting to give it a bit more emphasis. The HV applicant was a joint effort by two experienced operators of gaming facilities, Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Rush Street Gaming. At the same time that Rush Street was handing in its Schenectady application containing no extra mitigation dollars for the City, County, or nearby towns and school districts, the casino operator submitted to the Gaming Commission an application for the Hudson Valley Casino containing numerous little extras for nearby governmental entities. (See its “Executive Summary,” Exhibit IX.A.2a Local Impacts; and Exhibit IX.A.3 Mitigation of Impacts with MOUs.) The mitigation dollars were promised in Memoranda of Understanding signed by HV and the Cities of Newburgh, Beacon and Middletown, plus three school districts, and the nearby Dutchess County (to help with its baseball stadium and team and with tourism promotion). This Table shows the payments promised in the MOUs (notation in red added by this Editor), Ex. IX.A.3.: HudVal-MOU$$table2 As described in the Location Board’s Findings Report (at 98), in order to mitigate anticipated impacts, “and any other unanticipated impacts to the host and surrounding municipalities, Hudson Valley had entered into several agreements with local governments providing for one-time and ongoing mitigation payments. For example, Hudson Valley had committed to making separate annual payments to three local school districts in the amount of $150,000 each. Dutchess County would have received annual contributions of $500,000 each year and a one-time $350,000 payment. The Cities of Middletown and Beacon, pursuant to their agreements with Hudson Valley, would have been entitled to unrestricted annual payments of $175,000 and $200,000, respectively.” . The Hudson Valley Casino applicants promised a total of approximately $2.5 million a year in “mitigation” payments, and threw in a $350,000 one-time upfront payment to Dutchess County. The single largest recipient under an HV Memorandum of Understanding was not the Town of Newburgh, which was the Host Municipality, but was the City of Newburgh, its contiguous neighbor. The Town offered to give 15% of its gaming tax revenues to its poor-relations City, and HV said it would give that same amount to the City of Newburgh, estimating a total of $2.5 million dollars a year ($1.25 million from HV) by its 3rd year of operation.

HudsonValleyCasino-Rush-Saratoga

Hudson Valley Casino Site plan

 The Hudson Valley Application stressed that the City needed help with its crime problem, and pointed to statistics and ratings at the website Neighborhood Scout, which gave Newburgh a Crime Index of 6 out of 100. Neighborhood Scout gives Schenectady a similarly dire Crime Index of 7 out of 100, and places both cities on its List of the 100 Most Dangerous US Cities. Nonetheless, Rush Street did not offer Schenectady one cent of extra mitigation money for public safety or crime prevention. In addition, the HV application notes that crime crosses municipal borders and has been found to spread out from casino locations along arterial roadways.

The generosity of Rush Street’s Hudson Valley partnership contrasts greatly with its Schenectady Scrooge persona.  Perhaps more surprising is the different conclusion at Hudson Valley about the connection between the incidence of problem gambling and the proximity of a casino. In Schenectady, Rush Street insisted to the Location Board that having other gaming facilities at Saratoga, Turning Stone, Atlantic City, etc., meant that “the addition of gaming at the Rivers Casino is not expected to lead to an increase in prevalence rates in the local area.” (from p. 50 of its Economic and Community Impact Analysis). Nonetheless, despite the wider array of nearby gaming facilities for the residents of Newburgh, HV’s application states that “the incidents of pathological and problem gamblers will increase as the convenience associated with full-service gaming is enhanced in Orange County. ” (Ex. IX.A.2a, at 30) Unbiased observers must wonder how much differently Rush Street and its Galesi Group partner would act if they had to actively woo the leaders of Schenectady, rather than being able to seduce them without even trying.

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checkedboxs Conclusion (for now). The above examples should suffice to make our point that Mayor McCarthy has failed to secure millions of dollars of payments and guaranteed revenues that should already be benefiting the City, its taxpayers, neighborhoods, and neighboring towns. Even if graded on a curve, he should be getting failing grades in political science, economics, public administration, tax policy, and negotiation skills. Furthermore, his empathy for impacted families and neighborhoods gets an Unsatisfactory rating. As said in our first MOTT posting, residents of Schenectady who favored the casino because of its potential to create added revenues and jobs for the people of Schenectady, as well as casino opponents (and supporters, too) who want to ensure that negative impacts of the Casino are minimized and their costs not be suffered by our families, neighborhoods or taxpayers, should be disappointed and angry. The many payments, promises and concessions made by Rush Street in Brockton and Philadelphia, and the wide variety of big and small commitments made by other New York applicants that are listed above, suggest the many ways we have been shortchanged, and underscore all that was left on the casino table by Mayor McCarthy.

p.s. to The Mayor: Please let us know which of the statements of fact and law, or accompanying quotations and citations, above and in our earlier MOTT piece, amount to “misinformation.” Leave a Comment and we will link to it.

red check Follow-up (May 27, 2015): See our post and related chart on Rush Street’s Giveaways (to everyone but Schenectady).

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