(Updates with comment by a casino bidder and credit line)
ALBANY _ New York’s Southern Tier which has struggled with one of the state’s most sluggish economies for years lost out Wednesday on both a bid for a casino and in fracking.
A state commission rejected a bid by Tioga Downs race track west of Binghamton for a casino, opting instead to locate a casino in Seneca County in the Finger Lakes as the choice for the broad region of upstate.
Hours earlier, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo accepted the recommendation of his commissioners to ban potentially lucrative gas drilling in the Southern Tier through the fracking process.
“I’m very angry today and I’m very disappointed,” said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton), who was the point for both initiatives.
“I didn’t know Seneca County was in the Southern Tier,” said Libous over the choice of sites that was supposed to benefit his region.
"No fracking and no casinos? Why don't you just tell them to move," said Jeff Gural, owner of Tioga Downs. "Is there a more depressed area than Elmira? Binghamton? It's just unbelievably stupid."
Libous had been among the Democratic governor’s allies in fiscal issues. But Cuomo left the fracking decision to his health and environmental conservation commissioners and the casino decision to a commission.