Labor Unions and Teachers Show Support for Albany Casino
Labor unions and the teacher’s federation are showing support for the Empire City Casino to become a full-scale resort in Albany.
Last week, labor leaders of New York hosted a virtual rally to show the growing support for the Empire City Casino of MGM Resorts to become a full-scale venue. The change would be a benefit to Yonkers, the Bronx and Westchester as a whole. Labor unions are in support of the change along with local leaders and community groups such as the teacher’s federation.
Why No Now?
With the rally last week, those in support of allowing downstate casinos to start offering full-scale services now instead of waiting until 2023 was massive. Casino gaming was approved in New York State back in 2013. However, only upstate venues were allowed to open. Any downstate properties had to wait until the ones located up north were well established. A timeline was set for 2023 for the downstate properties.
However, with the pandemic last year, and the need for additional funds, supporters of the expansion are pushing for the change to happen now. For the MGM Resorts property, supporters say that expanding the Empire City facility will provide more jobs as well as additional economic support.
President of the Westchester-Putnam Central Labor Body, Thomas Carey, commented that additional union jobs would be created for construction, for both men and women. The transition could happen immediately, and it would create a quick impact for the community.
Earlier this month, an alliance was launched titled “A Sure Bet for New York’s Future”. This alliance group has seen its numbers increase and consists of almost 60 labor unions, businesses, community organizations, and faith-based groups.
This group sees the casino change as a way to create 13,000 jobs in the state along with $75 million in more wagers. It would bring about hundreds of millions in private investments along with creating a $1 billion impact on the local economy.
Yonkers Federation of Teachers President Samantha Rosado-Ciriello commented that a full-scale casino at Empire City would help to revitalize the area. Back in 2019, before the pandemic, the casino generated $307 million that went to education funding. With more gaming, even more funds could be created for educational needs.
Life-Changing Job Opportunities
Much of the focus for the expansion is on job creation. A full-scale casino would allow Empire City to offer live table games, which require dealers, as well as mobile sports betting and retail sports betting. Thousands of new jobs would be created to cater to customer needs via these new services.
New jobs would impact the local economy greatly. People who live in the Bronx and Westchester would be able to benefit. The jobs would pay well and be family-sustaining, which is what the community needs now more than ever after having to deal with the long-running COVID-19 pandemic.
The alliance group is hopeful that the recent rally and continued push for the expansion to take place now will come to fruition by the first of April. There are just a few more days before state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo must agree on the state budget. Will they choose to allow the casino licensing in downstate to happen now?
The group is calling on that to happen. The effort calls the change a ‘no-brainer’ based on what it would contribute to the community. The area has a strong partner in MGM Resorts, a brand that would easily be able to begin the expansion process to offer more entertainment as well as more funds to the region.
We shall see in the coming days if the push helped or if the expansion is not coming, even though so many are hopeful that it will come to fruition.