Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 3:15:53 AM

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Plans for a Casino in Binghamton if Proposition One Passes

(Source: Kate Thornton)

If voters pass Proposition One on Tuesday, it's possible that a Vegas-like casino could be built in Binghamton.
 
Chief Executive Officer of Vista Hospitality Ally Visram has a plan that he said will put Binghamton on the map.

"It'll bring people into Binghamton and make it into a destination.  It'll give you additional education funds.  It'll bring in the sales tax revenue.  It'll bring people into town," said Visram.

Vista Hospitality owns the Holiday Inn Arena and Quality Inn and Suites on the Vestal Parkway along with several other hotels in the United States and Canada.

Visram said between he and his brother, they have enough experience in the casino business to make their plan a successful one for the city.

The plan is to build a 50,000 to 75,000 thousand square foot casino in the City of Binghamton that includes 1,500 parking spaces, 1,100 slot games, 25 to 30 table games, and several restaurants.

"If Binghamton is approved, obviously it will put Binghamton on the map," said Visram.

Visram said they're considering two 20-25 acre parcels in the city, but couldn't disclose where.  He added that there are no plans to build a hotel, saying there are plenty of rooms in the current hotels in Downtown Binghamton to accommodate casino-goers.

Both Binghamton mayoral candidates are in favor of Proposition One.  As far as a casino here in Binghamton goes, they both said they're open to ideas.

"If anyone has any plan, if anyone has a proper location and a plan for it, I'd love to see it," said Democrat Mayoral Candidate Teri Rennia.

"I would be open to evaluating that concept, but I think I'd really need to see a detailed plan to make sure it was in the best interest of the city of Binghamton," said Republican Mayoral Candidate Rich David.

This bid would be in competition with Tioga Downs' plan to expand  by building a parking garage and a hotel. 

But, Visram feels Binghamton would have the upper hand because of its location compared to Nichols.

"Not too many people are  going to benefit from his expansion, whereas Binghamton is going to benefit much more than Tioga Downs would," said Visram.

The New York State Gaming Commission will appoint five people to a Facility Location Board.  They will decide what bid is entitled to the Southern Tier's casino license.

If the referendum passes Tuesday, it would go into effect January 1st.


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