Industry Reports

VLTs Will Continue Fueling New York State Municipalities

New York State is still working on its 2020 budget including many parts directly related to gambling and its various forms available. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear that he wants to see the end of Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) Aid when it comes to communities other than the City of Yonkers. State Senator Chris Jacobs recently said the program has been restored.

Video Lottery Terminals are some of the most popular gaming devices across North America and players appear to be drawn to them on a regular basis. This is because the gaming opportunities they offer are considered rather stimulating and players receive the instant gratification they have been seeking. Both Canadians and Americans participate in the gaming products they have up for grabs.

Gov. Cuomo Sought Aid Elimination

Their controversial nature has been a topic of wide discussion, as their opposition claims that the devices are deceitful by nature. The visual and audible stimuli they feature are designed in a way that tricks people into thinking they win, when in fact they lose money. Players could get distracted or confused and end up spending more time and money than they initially intended to.

Governor Cuomo made a proposal earlier this year, aiming to see the end of the Video Lottery Terminal Aid program. The municipalities directly benefitting from the regular allocations powered by the Video Lottery Terminals revenue were quick to express their concerns regarding the unexpected turn of events. Governor Cuomo argued that the special program is no longer needed since casino venues end up supporting their host communities better.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly was among the officials voicing their opinion in support of the continued program. The allocations have supported various local projects and the end of the program would have dealt a significant blow to the city coffers. Saratoga Casino Hotel is the venue bringing video lottery terminals closer to the people and many locals enjoy them on a regular basis.

Support for the Communities

This is their way of supporting the host community and its infrastructural projects, beautification work, and more. Over the past ten years, the city coffers have been witnessing annual allocations reaching US$3 million. Mayor Kelly said that the amount is later on used for the police, the fire department, as well as the DPW. James Shaw, Town of Hamburg Supervisor, was another official pointing out that the money is needed.

He made it clear that the program is able to support the host community and be the second-largest source of revenue for Hamburg. State Senator Chris Jacobs was the official that made it clear that the legislative version of the state budget for this year has voted to restore the program amounting to US$9 million. Projections are that the Town of Hamburg is about to bag some US$865,000 as a result.

The elimination of the program would have meant layoffs and harm to the city coffers, as well as raising property taxes. The projected percentage of this raise was 9.65 percent, something the locals feared. Erie Country is another region that would benefit from continuous financial support, bagging US$288,000 in the upcoming months.