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Mega-Resort With Gambling Planned In Catskills

poker.jpgYWN has been following the developments regarding the possibility of gambling casinos coming to Sullivan County very closely. (Click HERE to see all articles on this topic). The following are excerpts of an Associated Press article just hitting the wires:

As work crews smash apart the Concord Hotel developer Louis Cappelli surveys the rubble and sees a new shot at glory for the Catskills.

Over the rumble of demolition, Cappelli talks about a $1 billion resort here with gambling, golf, shopping, a spa, a water park and horse racing. He sees Vegas, the Hamptons without the traffic, something that will finally lift this old tourist haven northwest of New York City from its long torpor.

People here began dreaming about casinos in the Catskills soon after station wagons full of families stopped coming decades ago. But they could never land one.

But Cappelli, a big-thinking developer sometimes called “the Donald Trump of Westchester,” said the gambling will help attract tourists from the metropolitan area and revive the Catskills.

Locals officials — used to gambling deals that never come through — have embraced the deal forwarded by Cappelli and track owner Empire Resorts. But there is still a catch: the deal depends on financial help from Albany — and there is no firm commitment from the Capitol as the legislative session winds down this month.

The Concord, with some 1,200 rooms, was a Catskills mainstay in the days when the area was packed with summer tourists, many of them Jewish families up from New York City.

Tourism declined by the ’70s with the rise of cheap air fares and air conditioning. Locals looked to casinos to fill the void, but were unable to amend the state constitution to legalize them.

But the casino pursuit played out like a long game of three-card monte: The winning card never came up. The death blow to local Indian casinos came this year when federal officials rejected two proposals here because they would be hundreds of miles away from tribal lands.

The new Catskills gambling plan involves Monticello Raceway, a shopworn harness track three miles down the road from the Concord. The raceway — once a would-be casino site — is among the eight New York harness tracks given permission several years ago to install video lottery terminals. The flashy machines look and act like video slot machines. But payouts are controlled centrally by New York’s lottery, making them legal video lottery terminals, or VLTs.

The Legislature is due to end its annual session June 23. Cappelli said he needs an agreement among Gov. David Paterson, the Assembly and the Senate before then.

It’s not clear if that will happen.

Democrat Gunther and the local state Sen. John Bonacic, a Republican, both support the project and are in the majority of their respective houses.

A spokesman for Paterson said the administration is evaluating the proposal and is committed to helping the Catskills.

(Click HERE to be redirected to the CBS2 HD website and read the complete story)

10 Responses

  1. 1. this casino talk has been going on in the catskills for decades, and it never really materializes.

    2. i understand that many of the goyim who live in monticello (for many many years) are VERY dissatisfied, not because they dont believe the economic “opportunities” that gambling MAY bring, but because of the “bad element” it will bring.

    3. there is a smal “casino” in the (old) monticello raceway, and it is an economic flop.

  2. This is why the goyim don’t want the frum moving in – they try to control their lives as well. If you don’t want to gamble don’t go. Just as you would not go to a treif butcher in the neighborhood.

  3. #8 & #9 – So Frum Yidden are not entitled to t their political opinion and say? We can oppose this immorality alongside the non-Jews from the area that oppose it alongside us.

    The negative elements gambling will bring will affect the Jews and non-Jews.

  4. It seems inevitable that some form of gambling will come to the catskills. Either that or some other major development which will both increase tax revenues/spur the local economy and in some significant way alter the topography and character of the region. Quite frankly, I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened already.

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