St. Lawrence County Lobbies For Casino

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St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pat McKeown sees nothing wrong with taking a gamble on winning one of three state-sanctioned casinos proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

She says the idea of a casino for in the county should be aggressively pursued to help boost tourism and the local economy.
 
"We want to get right in there and see what it is he's offering and what are the benefits to us and what are the disadvantages to our neighbors," said McKeown.
 
County legislators have endorsed coming up with a strategy to compete for an upstate casino as part of a coordinated effort with the Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Development Agency and elected officials.

Officials say they don't see the casino as being in direct competition with either a nearby Mohawk-run casino or a similar casino in Gananoque, Ontario.
 
"We definitely do need some source of revenue other than taxes, whether they be sales taxes or property taxes," said county Legislator Fred Morrill (D. - District 6).                                                 
 
Among the locations being mentioned for possible consideration for a state-sanctioned casino in the county is the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center grounds in Ogdensburg.

A number of vacant buildings remain on the state-owned property, which could be a prime spot for transformation into a gambling haven.
 
County officials have lost millions of dollars in casino-generated revenue from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casinos since the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe began withholding revenue owed the state, and then split with local governments, in a dispute over gaming rights exclusivity.

They say having a state-sanctioned casino could help ease the financial crunch and generate more tourism dollars for county coffers.     

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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