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Tioga Downs Owner Keeping An Eye On Albany

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The chairman and owner of Tioga Downs says he’s not sure what state lawmakers might do regarding the expansion of casino gambling in New York.

Jeffrey Gural is hoping the legislature will give approval to the establishment of full-scale casinos.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Gural said an expansion of casino gambling could have a positive impact on the upstate economy.

Gural said authorizing casinos with table games would generate jobs across New York.

He said locating a full-scale casino operation at Tioga Downs in the town of Nichols would have the advantage that the conversion of the existing facility could be done quickly. He said he believes it could be done in about 90 days.

Gural said the process of establishing casinos at new locations would take much longer, perhaps as long as five years.

If the legislature approves a constitutional change allowing casino gambling, the proposal would go before New York state voters in November.

Gural said he wants to expand operations at Tioga Downs. His plans call for construction of a hotel and offering additional services at the site.

Gural said there would be a “big benefit to the state” if full-scale casinos are established. He said the casinos not only would result in job creation but the generation of millions of dollars in additional revenue for the state.

If the legislature clears the way for a referendum, Gural expects operators of casinos in neighboring states will fight hard to keep the measure from being approved by New York voters in the fall.

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