Future of Vernon Downs Remains Uncertain


“Protecting the jobs at Vernon Downs is my number one priority I don’t represent Vernon Downs, Mr. Magee represents that area but what happens in Vernon Downs affects all of us here in Central New York.” Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has been working alongside Assemblyman Bill Magee to pass legislation for the tax relief to allow the racino to stay open.

The senate passed the bill last week but unfortunately last night the assembly couldn’t come to agreement.
“I think it’s a good sign that both the senate and the assembly passed separate bills lowering the tax rates so I think everybody agrees that the tax break needs to be lowered.” but Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gurel made it clear to the assembly that their bill was unacceptable and this changes nothing- he says he still plans to close by end of September.

“The only thing that’s changed is I would have, I thought I’d be announcing that Vernon downs that the relief had been passed and Vernon Downs would stay open but that didn’t happen.” Brindisi says there’s a difference of opinion between the senate and the assembly on how much of a tax break Vernon downs should receive.” The senate has one version, the assembly has another the assembly version isn’t as generous.” earlier this year Gurel told eyewitness news the casino was losing on average about $150,000 a month due to competition, the assembly’s proposed bill would generate $200,000 and Gural is now saying it’s not enough.

“I don’t like having to give these big tax breaks to private businesses under threat they’re gonna close and lay off people it’s not the right way to operate. Unfortunately we have 300 peoples lives that are at stake right now who very much want us to work to try and come up with some kind of compromise so they can save their jobs.”

Brindisi told me he’s urging the governor to take action as they wouldn’t be in this position if he hadn’t approved the opening of the Lago Casino in the finger lakes.

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