Week After Vote, Saratoga Balking at Casino for City

ALBANY (AP) -

A week after New York voters approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to authorize seven casinos, residents in one of the most lucrative potential locations continue to balk.

Saratoga County officials canceled a vote Thursday to support casino gambling. An online petition by opponents is also underway.

Under Cuomo’s plan to create jobs and raise tax revenues, one casino would be built in the Albany-Saratoga region. The process requires local support before a site is chosen. But how that support will be measured isn’t clear since under state law, a community can’t block a casino.

Saratoga Springs Supervisor Matthew Veitch postponed the county Racing Committee vote scheduled for Thursday that would have endorsed casino gambling in the city that includes the storied Saratoga Race Course thoroughbred track.

In the Nov. 5 statewide referendum, Saratoga County voters rejected the casino measure 54-to-46 percent. Each surrounding county — Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren and Washington — voted the referendum down as well. The measure passed statewide with a 57-percent vote.

“Since the constituents didn’t support the referendum, it made sense for us to pull back and take a look at what we are doing,” Veitch said.

Opponents say casinos will bring crime and addiction that will hurt communities.