Upstate NY Arts Venues Want Limits on Casino Entertainment
A group of arts and entertainment venues from upstate New York has asked the state for help protecting their ability to attract audiences if voters approve the plan to build four new casinos.The director of the not-for-profit Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Marcia White, said that the group isn’t opposing casinos, but it is worried that gambling facilities could outbid them for entertainers who would then be off the local market because of exclusivity contracts.
White said, “If they book Bruce Springsteen, we wouldn’t have that opportunity for several months or up to a year.” The group is also asking for a 1,000-seat limit on casino theatres and limits on their future expansion.
The owner of the Tioga Downs “racino” in the Southern Tier, Jeff Gural, said that he will be for one of the casino sites if they are approved. Gural said that shows, including outdoor acts which attract up to 4,000 people, have been staged for the past six years at the track. Gural said, “There has been plenty of talent to go around and no one in this neck of the woods has said a word to me.”