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Mohawk Valley Lawmakers Request Racino Relief

A group of state lawmakers from the Mohawk Valley is asking for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s help in pressing Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to introduce a relief package for a racino.

The so-called Mohawk Valley nine, with Senators and Assemblymembers from Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties, say they appreciate the governor’s willingness to support a relief package for the Vernon Downs racino.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle last week reportedVernon Downs owner Jeff Gural said he would close the gaming facility if a better revenue-sharing agreement isn’t reached.

Vernon Downs faces competition from the nearby Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Casino, which also plans to construct a casino in Madison County.

The lawmakers say 300 jobs will be lost if the Assembly cannot pass a bill. Critics have labeled the relief a casino bailout.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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