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First of four new casinos opens

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Southern Arkansas University
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Tioga Downs opened Friday as a full Las Vegas-style casino, complete with 33 table games and a poker room.

It's making good on its claim that of the four new upstate casinos, it would be the first to open.

The facility is in Tioga County and has offered harness racing and slot machines for years. It tried twice for a full casino license, first in 2014. The second time was successful, and a full gaming license came in August. That license allows it to offer poker, blackjack and other table games.

The Gannett papers report the Tioga County Industrial Development Agency projects 150 new jobs and 550 temporary construction jobs came from the project.

It’s getting millions of dollars in sales, property and other tax breaks, according to Gannett. Owner Jeff Gural said that was necessary to get financing.

The other new casinos are in Seneca County, the Catskills, and Schenectady.