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Politics and Government

Madison County officials urge Cuomo to sign casino revenue bill

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo

Officials in Madison County are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a law that would allow the state to share gaming revenue from the Yellow Brick Road Casino with the county. State law allows a portion of revenue the state gets from Native American run casino’s to be shared with the host county. Since the Yellow Brick Road Casino opened in Chittenango after the law was passed, it didn’t get in on the revenue sharing deal according to Madison County Board of Supervisors John Becker.

"I think the governor is a fair man, and he sees this as a fairness issue also,” Becker said. "I’m hoping that now that he’s called this up earlier, that he’s going to sign this."

Becker said having a casino in your back yard is a burden.

"It might not be a lot, but it’s more strain on our local services that happen," Becker said. "They use our roads, a lot more folks come in. I know the Yellow Brick Road Casino, very busy, is a very popular venue. It puts a strain on everything else."

Legislation that would include Madison County in the revenue sharing model was passed overwhelmingly by the state Assembly and Senate. Oneida-area state Sen. Dave Valesky said if Cuomo signs it, it could mean somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000 for the county’s coffers.

"It’s a significant revenue source," Valesky said. "But I think that more importantly than the dollar amount, is again, the fact that Madison County deserves to be treated as every other county is. Basic fairness.”

Any change to the settlement has been opposed by Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, who had previously threatened legal action over the bill.