Hoping to win big

By Brandi Bailey

June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 8:28 AM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) The owner of a local racino is going all in, hoping New York voters give him the chance of turning Tioga Downs into a full-fledged casino.

The New York Senate and Assembly passed a constitutional amendment late Friday, setting the stage for a popular vote in November.

If a majority of New Yorkers approve the amendment, the Gaming Facility Location Board will pick four locations across the state for casinos.

Tioga Downs hopes to be one of those spots.

If it is, Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural said it would mean more jobs for the area. He says it takes people to deal cards and count money, as opposed to slots or video-based gaming, which are now the only offerings at the Nichols-based racino.

Gural adds the racino currently does not draw the demographic that could roll in the business.

"Younger people don't go to a racino, because the younger people want to play table games and poker. So we miss out on those younger people who are potential customers who would go somewhere else,"Gural said.

Gural says it would take just a matter of months to turn Tioga Downs into a full-fledged casino.

The cost of a licensing fee -- payment made to the state for a casino's operation -- has not yet been defined.

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