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Sullivan County Rally To Get Out The Vote For Casino Gaming

Christopher Chappelear

ROCK HILL – A large turnout of Sullivan County residents, public officials, business leaders and union labor conducted the first effort to educate New York residents about the upcoming vote on the November ballot to legalize casino gaming.

Three areas of the state, including the Catskills, would vie for four casinos with one region getting two and the others, one each.

The “Get Out the Vote” rally held Wednesday night at The Sullivan Hotel in Rock Hill heard from Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D, Forestburgh), who said the issue has been on the burner for some four decades.

“We have been talking about it since 1972. Now the campaign is to get the message out, ‘we need your vote’,” Gunther told the crowd.

Bringing casinos to New York will level the playing field, said Roberta Byron Lockwood, president of the Sullivan County Visitor’s Association.

“It affords us to compete competitively with our neighboring states,” Lockwood said.

Randy Resnick, owner of The Sullivan Hotel, said casinos will provide a major shot in the arm for the entire state.

“The end result is money for the towns, money for the counties, jobs for people, and money for education,” he said.

Casinos with electronic games are currently allowed and Monticello Raceway includes that kind of gaming. The owners plan to build a new harness racetrack, casino and resort along with their partner – EPR Properties – at the former Concord Hotel site in nearby Kiamesha Lake.