Economic Impact Study: Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel

By WKTV News

VERNON, N.Y. - Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel Raceway added over $28.5 million to the Oneida County economy and generated nearly $22 million annually in revenues for the region and the state, according to a new economic impact analysis conducted by an independent firm.

The analysis also estimates that 553 local, full and part-time jobs are supported by the Casino. The New York Gaming Association (NYGA) released part one of the two-part report today to outline the positive economic impact gaming has had on the local economy.

A second report, which Downs officials say will be released in the next few weeks, is expected to show projections for future regional job growth and revenues that will be generated if enhanced gaming is authorized in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State legislature will consider passing a constitutional amendment to authorize enhanced gaming.

"Many residents depend on the jobs Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel provides, and we are pleased with the results of the study," Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment (which operates Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel) said. "We are thankful for the success we have had and proud to be an economic asset to our community."
According to estimates from the analysis, in 2011 Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel provided 553 local full and part-time jobs, with 306 of those jobs representing direct employment by the casino. Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel supported 161 jobs for racing and breeding. Wages and salaries for employees totaled more than $8 million.

Additional findings from the report show that in 2011, Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel:

*Accounted for over $28.5 million in economic output for the region;

*Reinvested more than $1.6 million into the local economy with the purchase of goods and services (including construction) from businesses in Oneida County;

*Accounted directly and indirectly for nearly $1.3 million in revenues for Oneida County municipalities, and;

*Generated over $19 million in State revenues, of which more than $14.6 million went towards education in New York State, which is the equivalent of paying the salaries of more than 210 elementary and secondary school teachers throughout New York State.

The nine Racetrack Casinos comprising the New York Gaming Association include:
* Batavia Downs Casino
* Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway
* Empire Resorts at Monticello Casino & Raceway
* Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack
* Hamburg Casino at the Fairgrounds
* Resorts World Casino New York at Aqueduct Racetrack
* Saratoga Casino & Raceway
* Tioga Downs Casino
* Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel

The New York Gaming Association members have contributed $1.96 billion to the State in 2011. Over $830.5 million has gone to fund education in New York State which is the equivalent of paying the salaries of more than 11,900 elementary and secondary school teachers throughout New York State. The nine Racetrack Casinos employ nearly 5,500 New Yorkers directly and have created a total of 17,400 jobs both directly and indirectly across the state.

The economic impact analysis study was conducted by Appleseed Inc., a New York City firm that specializes in providing economic and social research analysis.

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