Know the facts on casiNO gambling…

Art and Cultural Venues

It is no coincidence that most upstate entertainment venues have joined forces to organize The Upstate Theaters for a Fair Game to protect themselves from unfair competition from a large casino.  This group of regional theaters and historic performing arts centers is not only worried about their inability to compete with a venue who can subsidize ticket prices from a Vegas-style casino, but also they are afraid that these powerful for-profit corporations will be able to lock up exclusivity rights with promoters and artists leaving them in the cold. Evidence: The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut — a 50-mile drive from Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun - provides a glimpse of what happens to theaters. The Bushnell used to attract dozens of pop and rock shows every year. Now, the theater is lucky to get six. "When the casinos came, that really put the nail in our coffin," said David Fay, the theater’s president and chief executive officer. "They absolutely take all of the major pop attractions." The economic recession hit the Bushnell hard, eroding the theater’s endowment and leading to a loss of corporate donors. Those factors, combined with competition from casinos, have left the theater with a deficit of more than $1 million.  

Historic Downtown

Over the past thirty years, Saratoga Springs has revitalized it's downtown to a point where it's now nationally recognized as one of America's Greatest Main Streets.  With year-round visitors, our downtown and City Center (convention center) have become  destinations for business and tourism.  However, the hard work and development of independently owned businesses may soon face unfair competition from big businesses. Evidence: Local establishments in Iowan cities couldn't compete with casino subsidized drinks, meals and hotel rooms, taxable retail sales in Iowa cities without casinos grew more than five times faster than sales in cities with casinos, leading researchers to conclude, “the operation of a casino in a mid-size city, far from contributing to economic development, creates a measurable drain on the economy of the city.”

Our Voice

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors had planned to pass a resolution in support of siting a casino in Saratoga Springs just days after an overwhelming majority of citizens voted against the measure. However, with pressure mounting from concerned citizens/business leaders and a growing opposition, they have postponed the vote (link).  Even though we are truly grateful that our local elected officials are listening to our voices, we need to show them that the opposition to siting a casino in Saratoga Springs continues to grow.  We ask that you make your voice heard and convince them that the future of Saratoga Springs is not worth a gamble. Unfortunately, we cannot solely rely on the local results from the State Referendum (prop. 1) and we don't have the same democratic siting process that Massachusetts voted into law.  Their casino siting process empowers each community to vote on their future with the understanding that a majority vote will in effect determine the placement of a casino.  Using their law, no casino would be allowed to open its doors in Saratoga County because Saratoga County voters rejected the plan to build our economy using Vegas-style casinos (54% to 46%) and Saratoga Springs residents voted down the measure with a more convincing 57% to 43%.    In our opinion, this vote would have been even more convincing with a more balanced political process without the influences of big casino/gambling lobbyists (since 2005 they have spent $59 million in New York State). Evidence: Saratoga County Board of Elections    

Social Costs

In addition to environmental impacts and economic impacts, study after study shows that the social costs of opening the doors to a casino are great. Evidence: 1.) According to FBI crime numbers and the district attorney of Luzerne County (the location of a casino owned by Mohegan Sun), crime has actually gone up in several categories since the casino opened in 2006. From 2005-2010, larcenies shot up 20%, property crime jumped 13% and aggravated assaults increased 12%. 2.) In eight years, the crime in  Ledyard, CT (Foxwoods Casino) grew 300% as surrounding towns saw a decrease of nearly 11%.  When only "out of casino" crimes were considered, the crime rate still rose 70% compared to surrounding communities.

Supporters of SAVE Saratoga

Residents of Saratoga Springs are passionate about our city and our downtown, and we don't need the state government scheming to impose an unwanted casino on us. It would cause a host of problems for our city, and we need our voices heard in the decision-making process!
Laura Giannini
We need businesses that enhance people's lives and catalyze the growth of other life-enhancing businesses. Casino's are like black holes, they suck the life out of people and no one but the casino owners knows where the money goes. More than once, tax revenues that were promised to education never made it. It's a cynical business.
Lale Davidson
Casinos make a lot of money for some folks but have never fulfilled their promises to help the local communities. We have a thriving downtown and it is misguided to bring in a self-contained business (hotel, entertainment, restaurants, etc) to compete with it. I really worry about the impact on local arts and entertainment venues.
Tom Denny
Saratoga and NYS outlawed casino style gambling years ago for a reason. Lets not forget that history repeats itself. Saratoga Springs is unique. We don't want it to blend in with all of the other destroyed communities that surround casinos in cities like Atlantic City, Las Vegas or Reno.
Peter O’Toole

This is not a done deal

SAVE Saratoga is a community-organized opposition group to the siting of a Las Vegas-style casino in the city of Saratoga Springs. We seek to preserve our thriving downtown, rarely seen in America today and recognized nationally; our world renown performance art spaces; our thriving economy and our social and individual security and pride that generations of thoughtful and caring Saratogians have worked to build, rebuild and preserve. The projected benefits of full casino gambling have yet to be convincingly documented. We are concerned that the promise of a windfall for host communities will not be realized, especially in light of plummeting revenues at casinos across the country. Meaningful guarantees and demonstrated long-term value are lacking. SAVE Saratoga contends that the revenues will never outweigh the costs, and this is a risk our community will not take.

SAVE Saratoga is committed to civil discourse.  We ask that all supporters engage accordingly around this issue.  Because this issue elicits great passion from residents who feel their voice has been taken away, we recognize that, at times, tempers may flare.  We have empathy for that reaction, but encourage members to present that passion with thoughtful, calm discourse in the public square.  We at SAVE will model such discourse wherever possible.  Thank you.

Click here to donate or you can now send a non-tax deductible donation to:

Adirondack Trust
Attn: SAVE Saratoga Account
473 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Please Note:

• For the time being, we are not a non-profit organization so your donations are not tax deductible. We will let you know if/when that changes.
• Anonymous donations are not allowed; name and address are required.
• Donated money will be used for such things as educational materials, purchasing signs, and other anti-casino materials. We will not use your money for any other political issue, nor is anyone associated with our volunteer group being compensated for their involvement.
• In the event that any money is left over when the casino battle is over, we will designate a local non-profit to donate the money to. We will update you soon on the choice of that non-profit.