Competition and Coopetition for City of Amsterdam

Update: Story also in Mohawk Valley Compass : (OTB seeks county support for East Greenbush casino site)
Here’s an interesting story from the Recorder (Rensselaer casino interests seeking support from Montgomery County) :

Three weeks after losing a bid for a proposed casino off Thruway Exit 27, the Montgomery County Legislature may consider putting its support behind another casino project being proposed in the capital region.

What the legislators are considering is to support Rensselaer COunty’s casino bid in the hope that it will give Rensselaer’s proposal some lift politically and economically.
After the loss of the casino for Montgomery County in terms of job creation, I thought it might be more of a positive for Amsterdam if the bid were awarded to Schenectady with my simplistic reasoning being that Schenectady was closer to Amsterdam and thereby make Amsterdam viable for commuting for either current or future residents.
I see some positives and negatives with endorsing one of the competitive casinos. On the plus side, we might see some revenue and we might see broader opportunities to collaborate with other locales. On the negative side, we are possibly alienating other players who may make sense to collaborate with on a very visible project. For example, if we endorse Rensselaer , Schenectady will feel less likely to collaborate in the future especially given the high visibility of the casino.
Still, it’s an interesting area to explore of when and how it makes sense to cooperate with other groups who are also our competitors and especially on how to generate revenues versus the usual pablum around “sharing services” and “consolidation” in the delusion of cutting costs as the only answer.

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7 Responses

  1. Pam Riccio says:

    I really don’t see the positives in an affiliation with Rensselaer County in terms of a casino. If we want to support a nearby community in their bid for the casino, then Schenectady would be the obvious choice. We have partnered with Schenectady county and city in forming a Land Bank, they are literally up the road from us and are a neighboring community in the true sense of the word- not just in the same area code. Where is the advantage to Amsterdam in endorsing something in Rensselaer county? I would need to read more on this to understand the logic….

  2. Tim Becker says:

    I think the selling point is that Montgomery County receives a portion of OTB revenue regardless of where they operate in NY State. So there’s maybe a better chance in seeing actual revenue from the project in Renn. From the OTB web site…
    “Capital District Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation is a public benefit corporation formed in 1975. Its predecessor was the City of Schenectady organized in 1972. Capital OTB provides legalized wagering on horse racing and lottery products with all profits distributed to local governments and the racing industry. “

  3. Pam Riccio says:

    OK, but why would there be a better chance of seeing revenue from the site in Renn. vs Schenectady if it’s shared statewide regardless of of location? Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying Tim. I don’t know why we are championing any site, but if you are going to do it, why not somewhere that is actually closer to Amsterdam? Unless you mean that the Renn. site is perceived as having a better shot of actually getting a casino… It’s late, I must be getting dense!

  4. Pam Riccio says:

    So I finally read the article in the Recorder and I get it. OTB is promoting for Renn. County because they feel that the casino package presented there, Hard Rock Cafe etc., would generate a larger revenue in general, thus everybody would get a slightly bigger piece of the pie. Right? I still don’t see the point because in all likelihood this is going to go wherever the powers that be want it to go at this point, with or without our endorsement, and why p*** people in neighboring areas off, but at least I understand why it’s being proposed, lol. Reading is fundamental!!

    • Tim Becker says:

      I think OTB is in partnership with the developers in Renn., so if that project happens, OTB will be there and could increase revenue. They don’t have that type of partnership in Schenectady or anywhere else.

  5. Don’t forget there’s a proposal for a casino in Howes Cave, a mere 30 minutes from Amsterdam. Maybe affiliating with Schoharie County makes more sense than Rensselaer County, although that project is probably the longest shot.

  6. Pam Riccio says:

    Tim, your answer makes the most sense,thanks. Why else would OTB be so actively campaigning for support? At this point I still feel the close proximity of either Schenectady, or as Charlie mentions, Schoharie County, would be more beneficial to Amsterdam. Actually If it were me deciding, I’d just tell all parties “best of luck” and call it a day. Why antagonize anyone when the outcome for our community is pretty much the same one way or the other?

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