Monday, February 7, 2011

Assembly Member Mike Miller Says No to Casino In Sullivan County

Not all casinos are created equal. As a member of the New York State Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, it has come to my attention that the Stockbridge-Munsee Native American tribe has submitted a proposal to build a casino in Sullivan County. If this casino is built it will cost the state over $400 million. I will fight this tooth and nail for the good of New York City and New York State.

The race track casino industry raises $1 billion for the State of New York every year. Due to federal entitlements, Native American tribes can open casinos that are exempt from many taxes. These casinos do not pay taxes on table games. They only contribute 25% on slot machines as opposed to the 60-70% collected from Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs). Native American casinos are given advantages that other wagering businesses, including the Aqueduct Racino, do not receive. As it stands, 62 cents of every dollar received from our racinos goes back to the State. 42 cents goes to funding education, 10 cents goes to lottery administration, 9 cents goes to horse racing purses, and 1 cent goes to horse breeding. While our current race track casinos pay 62 cents on the dollar, the Native American casinos pay just 20 cents on the dollar.

If the Stockbridge-Munsee casino is built, the State is projected to lose $407 million dollars. This amounts to a $188 million loss in State education funding, a $127 million loss in horse racing industry support, and the loss of over 900 jobs. This casino would kick the New York State economy while it is already $10 billion down. Our existing race track casinos could not overcome the huge advantage given to the Stockbridge-Munsee Native American Tribe. The construction of this casino would cost jobs, funding to education, and the economic well-being of the State. This plan is bad for New York City, it is bad for New York State and this is why my vote is “no.”