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Upstate NY theaters: Limit any new casino venues

ALBANY (AP) -- A group of upstate New York arts and entertainment venues has asked the state for help protecting their ability to attract acts and audiences if voters approve a plan for four new casinos.

Marcia White, executive director of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, says Tuesday they aren't opposing casinos. But they're concerned deep-pocketed gambling facilities could outbid them for entertainers who would then be off the local market for up to a year because of exclusivity contracts.

The coalition calling itself Upstate NY Arts and Entertainment Venues wants a role in booking acts and limits on the number of seats in casino theaters.

Among its other theaters are Proctors in Schenectady, The Clemens Center in Elmira, and the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston.

The state Gaming Commission says it work with the group on potential restrictions if voters approve more casinos on Nov. 5.
   AP-WF-10-22-13 1630GMT