ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Five years from now, New Yorkers may be able to crisscross the state, stopping at one gambling facility after another.
The future driving tour could begin at a new racetrack in far western New York, in the Niagara County town of Porter, where bettors could play the ponies or use debit cards on slotlike machines known as video lottery terminals, or VLTs.
The next stop could be the booming Seneca Pengeluaran HK casino in Niagara Falls, followed by a short jaunt to downtown Buffalo to visit the Seneca’s other casino.
Or, those who prefer the country could beat it down to the Senecas’ third casino on their nearby Cattaraugus reservation.
The next stop could be in Batavia, 35 miles east of Buffalo, at its refurbished racetrack and VLT operation, followed by Hamburg’s Buffalo Raceway and casino-like gambling rooms.
An hour of so from Batavia, gamblers can make a quick stop at another VLT-filled racetrack southeast of Rochester.
If the horses start to get tiring, travelers can head east on the highway to Verona, near Utica, to Turning Stone, the Oneidas’ ever-expanding Las Vegas-style casino. Nearby is another track with 500 or so VLTs.
Ninety miles east is Saratoga Race Course, the continent’s oldest racetrack, and more slotlike machines. Drivers could then take their winnings down the Thruway to two more Indian-owned casinos in the Catskills.
The final destinations downstate could be Yonkers Racetrack at its 2,500 VLTs in Westchester and New York City’s two racetracks, Aqueduct and Belmont Park.
This may sound far-fetched. But plans are underway to make all this and maybe more happen by 2006.
The Seneca Nation of Indians and its bold plan to build three new casinos in western New York may serve as an important catalyst for New York state to give Nevada a run for the nation’s betting dollars.
Whether such a gambling expansion happens could become clearer in the months ahead, if the Senecas get approval from state and federal agencies to enter the casino business.
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