Relates to the casino siting home rule.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law and the tax law, in relation to the casino siting home rule
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This legislation amends several statutes within Article 13 of the state racing, pari-mutuel wagering, and breeding law pertaining to the casino siting process. Specifically, this bill would require that local support for the siting of a casino in a specific municipality be demonstrated through the passage of local laws or resolutions in support by said municipality.
In addition, the bill amends Article 13 to make explicit that construction of any casino or destination resort affiliated with a casino comply with the state environmental quality review act. The bill would also prohibit the transfer of land to the state, any municipal corporation, or any agency or authority thereof for the construction of a casino as a means of avoiding compliance with local zoning regulations and requirements as established by host municipalities.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 2 of section 1314 of article 13 in the racing law to make explicit that local support for a casino shall be shown through the passage of local laws or resolutions in support by both the host municipality and county.
Section 3 of the bill amends section 1366 of article 13 in the racing law to require the construction of any class III gaming facility or new video lottery terminal facility comply with the state environmental quality review act. This section also prohibits the transfer of land to the state, any municipal corporation, or any agency or authority thereof for the construction of a casino as a means of avoiding compliance with local zoning regulations and requirements as established by host municipalities.
Section 5 of the bill is the effective date.
Following passage of the casino referendum in the fall of 2013, it has become clear that many local municipalities, counties, and advocacy organizations are struggling with whether or not a casino should be built within its borders. While casinos offer the potential for economic development, they also have the potential to bring with them social problems associated with gambling addiction, such as increases in crime, domestic violence and financial instability. In addition, casinos may close off other economic development strategies that localities prefer to pursue.
Unfortunately, the enabling legislation passed by the legislature did not contain any home rule provision that would allow a municipality to explicitly reject a casino if the residents therein did not want one.
This effectively allows the state to place a casino in an area notwithstanding local opposition.
This bill would amend the enabling legislation to require a locality to pass a measure of support if it would like a casino built.
New York State has long recognized the importance of home rule, and requires local home rule messages on a host of issues with less community impact than the siring of a casino. Other states have also recognized the importance of a local role in determining casino siting. Massachusetts, which also recently passed legislation authorizing casinos, has strong, clear language regarding the right of localities to approve or reject the siting of casinos.
The bill also helps maintain local control by requiring the construction of any casino be subject to all local land use and zoning rules and regulations. Finally, in order to ensure that the significant environmental impacts of any casino are fully identified and mitigated, the bill subjects the siting or all casinos to the state environmental quality review act.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This bill would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6433 IN SENATE January 23, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. KRUEGER, TKACZYK -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering AN ACT to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law and the tax law, in relation to the casino siting home rule THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 1314 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, as added by chapter 174 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows: 2. As a condition of filing, each potential license applicant
[must]SHALL demonstrate to the [board's satisfaction]BOARD that local support has been demonstrated THROUGH THE ENACTMENT OF LOCAL LAWS OR RESOLUTIONS IN SUPPORT BY THE HOST MUNICIPALITY AND COUNTY. S 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 1320 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, as added by chapter 174 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows: (b) gaining public support in the host and nearby municipalities which [may]SHALL be demonstrated through the [passage]ENACTMENT of local laws [or public comment received by the board or gaming applicant]; S 3. Section 1366 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, as added by chapter 174 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows: S 1366. Zoning. 1. THE STATE, ANY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OR ANY AGENCY OR AUTHORITY THEREOF SHALL BE PROHIBITED FROM ACQUIRING LAND NECESSARY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OR DEVELOPMENT OF A CLASS THREE GAMING FACILITY PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE. 2. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, gaming author- ized at a location pursuant to this article shall be deemed an approved activity for such location under the relevant city, county, town, or village land use or zoning ordinances, rules, or regulations. 3. THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH HEREIN SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW ACT UNDER ARTICLE EIGHT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW AND ITSEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13244-02-4 S. 6433 2
IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS WHICH ARE CODIFIED IN 6 NYCRR 617 AND ANY OTHER GENERAL LAWS RELATING TO LAND USE AND ANY AMENDMENTS THERETO. S 4. The opening paragraph of subdivision a of section 1617-a of the tax law, as amended by section 2 of part O1 of chapter 57 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: The division of the lottery is hereby authorized to license, pursuant to rules and regulations to be promulgated by the division of the lottery, the operation of video lottery gaming at Aqueduct, Monticello, Yonkers, Finger Lakes, and Vernon Downs racetracks, or at any other racetrack licensed pursuant to article three of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law that are located in a county or counties in which video lottery gaming has been authorized pursuant to local law, excluding the licensed racetrack commonly referred to in article three of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law as the "New York state exposition" held in Onondaga county and the racetracks of the non-profit racing association known as Belmont Park racetrack and the Saratoga thoroughbred racetrack. Such rules and regulations shall provide, as a condition of licensure, that racetracks to be licensed are certified to be in compliance with all state and local fire and safety codes, that the division is afforded adequate space, infrastructure, and amenities consistent with industry standards for such video gaming oper- ations as found at racetracks in other states, that racetrack employees involved in the operation of video lottery gaming pursuant to this section are licensed by the racing and wagering board, and such other terms and conditions of licensure as the division may establish. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, video lottery gaming at a racetrack pursuant to this section shall be deemed an approved activity for such racetrack under the relevant city, county, town, or village land use or zoning ordinances, rules, or regulations AND SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATE ENVI- RONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW ACT UNDER ARTICLE EIGHT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW AND ITS IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS WHICH ARE CODIFIED IN 6 NYCRR 617 AND ANY OTHER GENERAL LAWS RELATING TO LAND USE AND ANY AMENDMENTS HERETO. No entity licensed by the division operating video lottery gaming pursuant to this section may house such gaming activity in a structure deemed or approved by the division as "temporary" for a duration of longer than eighteen-months. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the division from licensing an entity to operate video lottery gaming at an existing racetrack as authorized in this subdivision wheth- er or not a different entity is licensed to conduct horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at such racetrack pursuant to article two or three of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.