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Catskills-Hudson Valley To Gain $51 Million A Year If Gaming Approved

Christopher Chappelear

ALBANY – If voters approve legalized gaming in New York, the Catskills-Hudson Valley region would realize some $51 million a year in new revenue.

The state has approved the development of five casinos in four regions of the state with one region winning two facilities and the other three having one each.

School aid in the region would increase by $23.6 million while county distribution of new funds would total $27.4 million.

Local officials are hoping for one casino in Sullivan and another in Ulster.

With the expectation that one casino would be developed at the Nevele Hotel in Ellenville, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein noted the Catskills have a long history as a tourism destination.

“The addition of thousands of jobs that resort casinos will create, as well as the expected sales tax revenue, will positively impact the communities of Ellenville and Wawarsing and help as they return to the vibrant communities they were in the heydays of the Catskill resorts.”

Steven Kurlander, the vice president of Citizens for New York State Gaming, said the influx of funds in the state report is only part of the equation.

“It doesn’t even account for the real estate value that would occur and various other economic activities which would be spurred by a casino starting to be built there,” he said of a proposal to build a casino and resort at the former Concord Hotel site in Kiamesha Lake.

The state estimates of economic benefit are based on an average of the different siting scenarios possible under the law.