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Binghamton mayor not ready to back casino proposal

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Binghamton mayor not ready to back casino proposal
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Since Proposition 1 passed in November, a handful of developers have stepped up to the table in hopes of obtaining a casino license.

With Request for Casino Applications coming out next month, local leaders are also playing their hand in the game.

Johnson City leaders being the most recent to voice their support for Traditions at the Glen, one of the casino proposals for the region.

Johnson City was one of the most recent places to take the gamble with Traditions at the Glen. One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's biggest factors will be local support. So far, the developers at Traditions have been working hard to gain that support.

Greg Deemie, the Johnson City mayor, says it would be economically beneficial, and would create plenty of foot traffic and jobs.

"What it will do is possibly bring more businesses into the village. People may decide when they come visit that they might want to live here, maybe I'll buy a house instead and live down this way. It can mean a lot for the village," Deemie said.

But the casino license could mean a lot more for Tioga Downs in Tioga County. The racino has been a staple in the community by creating not only an atmosphere for adults, but families too.

Officials in the Town of Nichols say they have been backing Tioga Downs since Day One, and losing the license to another facility would be devastating.

"We've been giving them all the public support we can. They've been an absolute positive addition to our community and they have become and intricate part of our community," Town of Nichols Supervisor Kevin Engelbert said.

Not as vocal, but certainly looking for some support are two brothers from Binghamton hoping to obtain the license.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David has yet to give his endorsement, but thinks a casino would be beneficial.

"I need to be intimately familiar with the proposal, any proposal I support. At this point I just don't have enough details to make a decision because the proposal doesn't exist yet for Binghamton. So I at least want to give that group a fair amount of time to put their proposal together and submit it to me for review," David said.

The fourth and final player for the Southern Tier license is a real estate developer out of Seneca County.

Applications will start being accepted next month with bids due by the summer, and if all goes well a selection by the fall.

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