Supervisors back casino in Rensselaer

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County supervisors last week preliminarily supported building a proposed casino in Rensselaer County because the Capital District Off-Track Betting Corp. says the operation might double Fulton County’s OTB revenue.

Capital Off Track Betting has joined with the Hard Rock casino as a way to increase business and add other revenue sources. Hard Rock would have a 2,000-square-foot OTB outlet in the casino.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development-Environment Committee supported the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino development project in Rensselaer. The full board will vote Monday on a proposed resolution to support the proposal.

Capital OTB President and CEO John Signor was on hand at a recent full legislature meeting to ask Montgomery County to also support the Rensselaer County casino. The legislature will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday to allow other proposed casinos’ representatives to make support proposals.

Robert Roth, Fulton County’s Capital District OTB representative, and Tod Grenci, Capital District OTB vice president of corporate operations, gave a presentation to Fulton County supervisors on OTB’s involvement in the project.

Capital District OTB asked Fulton County to support its proposal. The OTB representatives said as a result of the casino venture in Rensselaer, OTB revenues for Fulton County will grow. The county received about $56,000 in 2013 and OTB expects that figure will nearly double to more than $100,000 once the casino is operating.

The OTB officials also estimate the Hard Rock casino will do $40 million more than any other Capital Region casino, which alone will bring in higher revenues for Fulton County.

Committee Chairman Michael F. Gendron said Friday that because of timelines, the presentation might have been too late. He said Fulton County was only contacted about a month ago by OTB.

“I felt the presentation should have been given a month ago,” Gendron said.

He said Grenci also offered too much information to digest in a short amount of time.

Nevertheless, his committee offered its support for the Rensselaer casino and the full board will consider final support Monday.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.