MAYVILLE - A motion to support full casino gaming at the existing racinos in New York state is getting some mixed reaction from legislators.
The Planning and Economic Development Committee met Wednesday to discuss, in part, the motion made by Legislative Chairman Jay Gould, R-Ashville.
The motion is to support the Batavia Downs Casino, a casino and a horse track, which is partially owned by Chautauqua County. Chautauqua was one of 11 western New York counties, along with the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, which established the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation.
During the meeting, Fred Croscut, committee chairman and R-Sherman, said he would like add his name to the motion. However, George Borrello, R-Irving, said he will be voting against the motion at the Nov. 28 Legislature meeting.
"I will be voting against it. I just feel that there is a lot of unfinished business between New York state and the Seneca Nation when it comes to casino gaming," Borrello said. "From what I can see, there have been promises made and broken on both sides and I just think they need to sort that out and decide exactly how they are going to move forward before we can start supporting the table gaming at these racinos."
On the other hand, Croscut spoke in favor of the motion, based on the amount of money the county will be able to receive if the Batavia Downs Casino is granted full casino gaming.
"I will sign on with Chairman Gould," Croscut said. "Our taxpayers in this county, I guess originally, put money into this. We are one of the few left casinos like this in New York state. It makes no difference to me one way or the other, but on the other hand, as this motion so states, we've got $8.2 million since 1973 back."
According to Gould, if the Batavia Downs Casino is a casino that will be granted full gaming, the county would benefit financially. He predicted income from the casino could double, possibly up to $800,000 a year.
"The governor is talking about making seven casinos statewide (full gaming casinos)," Gould said. "We would like Batavia to be made one of these casinos when the day comes."
Addressing the concerns of Borrello, Gould said the agreement has "nothing to do with the Senecas."
"Batavia was owned by Chautauqua County 11 months before the Senecas were granted agreement to be able to build casinos," he said. "So, actually, we were here before."
The motion will be brought to the full legislature later this month. The motion will need 13 votes in order to be passed.