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East Greenbush holds casino meeting

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Updated: 5/19 11:27 pm

EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. – The first public East Greenbush casino proposal Monday night was filled with community members.

Churchill Downs, Inc. presented a plan saying the $300 million casino resort will create 1,700 permanent jobs and 1,700 construction jobs. But many people who packed the Columbia High School auditorium Monday said they need more information.

Churchill Downs said their plan will bring $5.7 million a year to the town, but many are worried the community won’t see any of the revenue.

Rita Cox from Saratoga Casino and Raceway said that’s not true.

“We actually think that the quality of life will be raised through the revenue generated for the community and for the thousands of jobs that we’re talking about,” she said.

Other people still aren’t sure. Resident Tom Atkins said he needs more information before he can make an educated decision.

“I don’t know about the gambling – when you call it gambling verses gaming,” he said. “There might be a reason for it, and then, yet, at the same time in the end, I’d like to play at a place in my hometown.”

East Greenbush Town Councilman Phil Malone said the meeting was meant to address concerns. He said the town hasn’t voted on the proposal, yet, and understands there are mixed feelings.

“I get e-mails from both sides of it,” he said. “Some that definitely want and give good reasons and some that are against it and give good reasons.”

Some community members handed out fliers following the meeting to let others know they will hold a rally at the town hall on Wednesday to discuss the casino.

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