Last week a meeting was held in the Town and City of Newburgh to gather support for the Hudson Valley Casino and Resort that will be located at the intersection of I-87 and I-84 in the Town of Newburgh behind Orange County Choppers. So far city and town officials support the project and both municipalities have agreed to a revenue sharing agreement that would give the City of Newburgh 15% of the host community revenues providing an estimated $1,020,000 annually. The casino operator is promising an additional 15% that would give the City of Newburgh more than $2 million dollars annually total.
Mayor Kennedy was quoted as saying,
“While the City of Newburgh will see direct dollars for the siting of this casino in the Town of Newburgh, the increased property tax revenue will have a substantial impact on reducing school taxes…Between the added revenue for law enforcement in our City through our agreement with the Town, the arrangement we established with the casino itself, and the impact that this project will have on jobs, it’s a no-brainer for the City of Newburgh to offer its whole-hearted endorsement.”
The project proposal is promising 2,400 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs with benefits. Salary ranges are anticipated to be between $30,000 – $70,000 annually for non-management positions and $70,000 – $180,000 annually for management positions. They are also promising to work with local restaurants, farmers, brewers, and distilleries that showcase the Hudson Valley.
Research about the economic development promised by casino’s tells a different tale. A study called Casino Gambling as an Economic Development Strategy by Terance J. Rephann found that:
“Casino gambling is adopted by economically struggling counties and can be a successful development strategy. The effects trickle down to other sectors of the economy, including recipients of income maintenance payments. On the downside, local governments and local workers do not appear to appear to reap the lion’s share of benefits, as much of the income generated by casinos is dissipated through leakages outside the host county.”
Other studies have found promise in the positive impact of casinos on economic development, but also acknowledge that it can be unstable and it is an industry highly impacted by outside factors. There are also the moral and ethical issues that many people are afraid come with a new casino. Rephann cautions that investment in the casino industry is an economic development gamble in of itself with location and competition being key factors. He also says that training mechanisms should be put in place so that the local labor force is equipped for the skilled jobs casinos may offer.
Casinos are also often one-stop locations sufficing all of the needs of visitors, giving them very little reason to patronize outside businesses. Such was the case in Atlantic City where, “the number of restaurants dropped 40 percent since 1977. Most people associated with the industry note that people don’t venture far from the casinos” (Dunstan, 1997). Another issue with Atlantic City is that it has “done little to revitalize the rest of Atlantic City and its business community. Atlantic City has been described as two cities. One is the casinos and the other is a city of boarded-up buildings with a unemployed minority work force.”
What do you think about the proposal for a casino and the partnership between the City and Town of Newburgh? So far, it looks like many support the project.
Dunstan, R. (1997, January 1). Gambling in California. Gambling in California. Retrieved , from https://www.library.ca.gov/CRB/97/03/crb97003.html#toc
Rephann, T. J. (1997, January 1). Casino Gambling as an Economic Development Strategy. . Retrieved , from http://www.equotient.net/papers/casino.pdf
Walker, D. M., & Jackson, J. D. CASINOS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: AN UPDATE. The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics, 7, 80-87. Retrieved , from http://walkerd.people.cofc.edu/pubs/2013/JGBE2013.pdf