Casino Gambling in the Empire State
One would assume that owning two racinos would result in handsome profits for Jeffrey Gural.
Yet despite reports that the racino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens made $57.5 million in May, outpacing Mohegan Sun as the country’s top slot-machine moneymaker, the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank chairman’s investment in Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs has not been so lucrative, in part because of unfavorable locations and a high tax rate.
“One problem I have is one racino is five miles away from an Indian casino that has table games—that was a terrible decision,” Mr. Gural said late last week. “My other racino is in Tioga County in a town of 1,000 people. Obviously, if you have a great location like Aqueduct and Yonkers, you’d make a lot of money. But the bulk of the money is going into state taxes.”
With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fixin’ to legalize gambling in the Empire State, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said that Coney Island, “America’s Playground,” should be considered as one of the seven non-Indian casino sites throughout the state.
In an op-ed in today’s New York Daily News, Mr. Markowitz said that building a casino in Coney Island “fits the bill in every way imaginable.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo
A committee comprised of influential and powerful members from the real estate world that is closely aligned with Governor Andrew Cuomo received a $2 million contribution from The New York Gaming Association, a lobbying group with ties to Genting Bhd. and other gambling interests, according to published reports.
The donation to The Committee to Save New York was made last December, weeks before Gov. Cuomo had argued for legalizing gambling in New York state. It was also made before Gov. Cuomo announced an agreement had been made between the state and Genting to develop a $4 billion “racino” at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.