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Despite local vote, county officials hope to see a casino in Saratoga

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Updated: 11/12/2013 10:47 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Even though Saratoga County voted against the new casino measure, some of the county supervisors there say they still intend to vie for one of the new gaming licenses.

Since Saratoga already has the track and a video gaming casino, it's a good candidate to be one of counties that gets a card and dice casino.  But that doesn't mean voters here necessarily want it.

While the vote against State Proposition 1 was close, 46-percent saying YES and 53-percent saying NO, the county supervisors believe it will only help the area.

Proposition 1 passed last Tuesday with a majority of support coming from downstate voters.  However, the first four casinos will be built in Upstate New York.

 "Why go to Connecticut if you can go to Saratoga Springs," stated Preston Jerkins, a representative of the town of Moreau."  

He told News10 ABC he has concerns about how the tax money could be handled in the future.

"What happens to the money?" Jerkins said, "Up front it sounds good, but what happens when it changes or if it changed or when the next governor changes."

John Collyen, who comes from the town says "I think if it's got to go anywhere I want to see the governor expand racino up here."

Even though both men think it's a good fit for Saratoga, they aren't sold.  They want to see cooperation between a new type of casino and surrounding towns.

"To make it viable," stated Collyen, "so that if people want a choice to leave the racino and come downtown."

Jerkins says "Without any other attractions, I don't think it'll be that great."

However, County Chairman Alan Grattidge disagrees.

"We are a destination location," explained Grattidge. He says says regardless of the county vote or other concerns, the county will still try for the license."

"Like other laws," continued Grattidge, "This is now the law of the land, and we should think about how we're going to handle going forward

A seemingly consensus echoed by other board members.

"I think some people are unhappy some people don't want it," said Jerkins, "Those will be some of the same people that will ultimately probably go there."

Last December, Saratoga County passed a resolution in favor of a new gambling in the county.  While regional support matters, ultimately a State Board will choose the locations of the new casinos.

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