Albany announces support for East Greenbush casino

Updated: 08/27/2014 11:33 PM
Created: 08/27/2014 6:18 PM WNYT.com
By: Nicole Hart

ALBANY - The city of Albany could cash in, if the proposed casino in East Greenbush is built. Now Albany's mayor is telling other communities to place their bets too.

At a Wednesday evening press conference, Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced a new deal.

"We have received a commitment from the East Greenbush casino, as we refer to it," she said.

That commitment is a non-exclusive deal that will provide economic development in Albany. It's a jackpot of sorts -- promising jobs for Albany residents, millions of dollars over the span of 10 years and cross marketing. The only thing Albany is required to do is support the building of the East Greenbush casino.

"This commitment, I believe, really fulfills the promise of the name of the legislation that authorizes casinos, which is the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act," Sheehan explained.

Jack Conway lives in East Greenbush and says he is opposed to the casino being built there -- adding he is disappointed by the new deal on the table.

"This is Rensselaer County. It's not Albany County. This is East Greenbush. It's not the city of Albany," protested Conway. "I don't think Albany has any right to support that kind of intrusion in East Greenbush."

The pot continues to grow with another active player dealing in and upping the ante.

"We all know that the city of Albany is struggling, that we have a deficit, and that our operating budget is stressed, but part of the challenge we have in Albany is needing our investment dollars to grow a tax base," explained the Albany's mayor.

Conway says although he doesn't want the casino, he understands what is happening.

"I think the Albany endorsement is a serious one and could weigh heavily on the gaming commission," he said.

This new, non-exclusive deal does not mean Rensselaer is out of the running for a partnership with Albany. Sheehan says she doesn't know where Rensselaer stands because they've only provided her with a term sheet at this point. She did say she is ready and open for more talks with them.


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