Patch, Victoria Hochman, 3/27/2021
Today, New York labor leaders led a virtual rally to demonstrate growing support for a full gaming license and access to mobile sports betting for Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts, touting its benefits for Yonkers, the Bronx, and the greater Westchester region.
Since its launch in early March, membership in the “A Sure Bet for New York’s Future” Alliance has increased more than twofold, with nearly 60 labor unions, businesses, faith-based and community organizations joining forces in support of a pathway for making 13,000 jobs, $75 million in additional wages, $400 million in private investment, and $1 billion in economic impact a reality for the region.
A full-scale casino license, complete with retail and mobile sports betting and live table games, will create thousands of new, family-sustaining union jobs, while generating millions in additional annual wages and tax revenue that would directly benefit local communities.
The Alliance also announced Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, as its newest co-chair, further signaling the growing momentum and solidarity for their cause.
The press conference featured remarks from John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Business Council of Westchester; Thomas Carey, President, Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body; Samantha Rosado-Ciriello, President, Yonkers Federation of Teachers; Jodie Reaver, Organizer, Southern Westchester Action Committee PAC (SWAC PAC), and Richard McSpedon, Business Representative, Local Union #3 IBEW, along with other members of the Alliance in attendance to show their support.
“Think of all of the additional union jobs this would create for the building and construction trades men and women,” said Thomas Carey, President of the Westchester-Putnam Central Labor Body. “A full-scale license means the transition would happen immediately, so we would start to see all of this impact for our unions, and our communities, very quickly.”
“A full-scale license for Empire City would go a long way toward revitalizing the region. In 2019, Empire City Casino generated $307 million that went directly to education funding in our state,” said Samantha Rosado-Ciriello, President of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers. “And because gaming revenues in New York are directed to the education fund, this means our state will get the resources it needs to adequately support our children’s education.”
“This has the chance to be life changing. We’re talking about thousands of good paying, family-sustaining jobs to a region that desperately needs them. For these communities, it’s as simple as that,” said Jodie Reaver, Political Organizer from the Southern Westchester Action Committee (SWAC PAC).
“The workforce that would benefit from this project lives right here in Westchester and the Bronx,” said Richard McSpedon, Business Representative, Local Union #3 IBEW. “A full-scale casino license for Empire City Casino will support the creation of thousands of union jobs. This project makes total sense for our communities.”
“Developing Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts into a full-scale casino means immediate employment opportunities for our trade brothers and sisters, including long-term maintenance work across the 93 acres of property,” said Edward Doyle, President of the Westchester-Putnam Building and Construction Trades Council. “That’s exactly the type of family-sustaining jobs that our communities need.”
“With just days away from the state budget being finalized, we are calling on the Governor and the Legislature to support a full-scale casino license and mobile sports betting access for Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts,” said John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Business Council of Westchester. “The clearest path to provide significantly more revenue for the state, offer good jobs, and support the local community is for Empire City to become a full-scale casino complete with retail and mobile sports betting and live table games. This is a no-brainer for our communities.”
“Empire City Casino employs 300 Bronx residents,” said Lisa Sorin, President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “A full-scale casino license for Empire City Casino will no doubt double if not triple that number.”
“I’m a Co-Chair of this Alliance because I know what a full-scale casino license for Empire City Casino, with retail and mobile sports betting and live table games, will mean for The Bronx,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. “We hope that the Governor and the Legislature will allow Empire City to develop into a full-scale casino so that we can start to see the much needed high-paying jobs and the revenue our state needs as soon as possible.”
The Alliance now has nearly 60 members, and it continues to grow. Alliance members to-date include:
100 Hispanic Women of Westchester
Beyond Elegance, Inc.
Big Branch Capital
Big Brothers Big Sisters of FSW
C&F Consulting Engineering, P.C.
CSEA Local 860
CommuniKate Media, LLC
Dan Schorr, LLC
Family Restoration Project One, Inc.
Forme Medical Center and Urgent Care
Green Grass Real Estate
HV Gateway Chamber
IAFF Local 628 Yonkers Firefighters
IQ Contracting Inc & Associates
Jill Singer Graphics
KVL Audio Visual Services Inc.
Kings Capital Construction
LOCAL 3 IBEW / Westchester Central Labor Body
Local 91, Heat & Frost Insulators
Local One, IUEC
Local one, IATSE / IATSE
Marx Realty, Cross County Shopping Center
McLean Avenue Merchant Association MAMA
Messiah Baptist Church
NY Hospitality Group
Nicholas & Lence Communications
NorthMarq Capital, LLC
Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 21
Progressive Computing Inc.
Robert Martin Company
Segel & Co., Inc.
Singer Law PLLC
Statewide Public Affairs
Teamsters Local 456
The DeLuca Group
TheVeron House Group
Town of Cortlandt
United Black Clergy of Westchester
Westchester County Board of Legislators
Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body
Yonkers Avenue Dental
Yonkers Chamber of Commerce
Yonkers Federation of Teachers
Zeidel & Associates P.C.
To learn more about the Alliance and/or join as a member visit: www.thebcw.org/alliance
About the Alliance
A Sure Bet for New York’s Future is an Alliance of businesses, community organizations, labor groups, and other local groups who are in support of providing Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts in Yonkers with a full gaming license and ensuring Empire City can participate in mobile sports betting, should the state legalize it.