Racinos tout results amid casino competition – The Journal News | LoHud.com


The introduction of video-lottery terminals at New York’s racetracks in 2004 has saved the state’s horse-racing industry, records show. Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau

ALBANY – The state’s nine racetracks with gambling operations are promoting how much they provide to the state in education dollars and jobs amid growing competition from casinos and a push by some of them to improve their tax rates.

The racetracks, which stretch from Queens to Buffalo, said they generated $3.3 billion in economic activity last year and provided $905 million that went to fund education in New York, the most since they started to open in 2004.

The racetracks all have video-lottery terminals, except one: Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier, which converted to a full-scale casino in December after getting a gambling license from the state.

The New York Gaming Association, which represents the tracks, said in its annual report released to the USA Today Network’s Albany Bureau that the facilities have about 5,300 employees and support about 29,000 jobs overall through various vendors and the horse industry.

“Every year, the contribution of our member facilities can be seen and felt across local communities,” said Michael Wilton, the association’s executive director.

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New competition

The racinos, approved in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks to boost the state’s coffers and economy, have faced stiffer competition from two new upstate casinos that opened in February, as well as casinos run by the Seneca Nation in western New York and the Oneida Nation in central New York.

The Oneidas own the Turning Stone Casino and Resort and the Yellow Brick Road Casino closer

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