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East Greenbush board member withdraws support for casino

EAST GREENBUSH -- A member of the town board withdrew her support for the Capital View Casino and Resort after she accused the developer of misrepresenting the plans. The board previously unanimously backed two resolutions supporting the casino.

Mary Ann Matters said when Saratoga Casino and Raceway presented the plans to the board it was branded as a destination resort, but the license application filed with the state show a smaller, downsized plan.

What they promised us was a world-class destination resort casino and what we more or less have been busted down to is a local-class casino that just doesnt have the amenities I thought it was going to have, said Matters, who twice voted in favor of a resolution supporting the casino.

Matters said the town was pitched a resort with 300 rooms, full dining options and a 1,700 seat showroom. The executive summary posted online with the Gaming Commission shows Capital View is planning a 100-room, three star hotel with a steakhouse, multiple casual dining options, and a less than 1,000 seat showroom. The summary says showroom seating was reduced as part of an agreement with several area entertainment venues.

Considering the downsizing now, I think the potential for these revenues is going to be significantly reduced. Instead of $5.7 million for East Greenbush, we might get $1 million or even less, said Matters.

Matters is calling on other board members to withdraw their support, but said so far the other members are still in favor of the casino. 

A resolution supporting the casino was required by the host municipality in order for the Gaming Commission to accept the application for license. A spokesperson for the commission said if a resolution withdrawing support was passed, it would not automatically take Capital View out of the running for the Capital Regions license. However, if it is submitted to the commission, it could impact the local support score worth up to 20 of the 100 points available. A public hearing is also planned after Labor Day.

Capital View spokesperson Morgan Hook said in an emailed statement the casino team is happy to discuss Matters concerns with her.

"At every step of the process, we have engaged with every member of the town board and provided them with a full and detailed account of what our proposal is and will be, said Hook. While we have made some adjustments to our proposal to accommodate and protect local business interests, this is still a $300 million project that will generate millions in revenue for the town, county and school district and create thousands of jobs.
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