New York Casinos' Impact on Our State Parks and Trails

Update date: 
November 17, 2014
Issue in brief: 


No Casinos for Orange County!

Gaming Facilities Board Makes Announcement Dec. 17, 2014: Three locations approved: Monticello, Schenectady, Seneca.

Click for NYTimes story 

Poker cards and chips. Credit: History Channel

Two mega casino resorts proposed for Orange County, in the thick of state park land, are of great concern to the Trail Conference:


  • Sterling Forest Resort, which would be built on a 238-acre private in-holding at the heart of Sterling Forest State Park in the Town of Tuxedo;
  • Caesars New York in the Town of Woodbury, abutting Harriman State Park.

These projects would irreparably harm Harriman and Sterling Forest State Parks and their environs and the Trail Conference opposes both proposals. We ask you to voice your opposition as well.

New York State’s Gaming Facilities Board is authorized to select four projects to move ahead. Each project is then subject to local planning and zoning review and state environmental review processes. The public has opportunities to give input at these various stages. The Gaming Commission's comment period has closed, but this remains a very important issue in our area. 

UPDATE: The next meeting of the Gaming Facility Location Board, which will choose the winning casino proposals, is Nov. 21. No decisions are expected to be made before then.

You can still tell officials in Woodbury and Orange County that you're against the Caesars New York proposal.
Write to:
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of the 18th District. Emails regarding casinos can go to Anna Scalzo in his office: [email protected]
Assemblyman James Skoufis of the 99th Assembly District: [email protected]
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus: [email protected]
James DiSalvo, representing Orange County Legislature District 14: [email protected]
Woodbury Mayor Michael Queenan: [email protected]
You can use these talking points and sample letter when writing your letter in opposition of Caesars New York.

Resources (opposition group)


In 2013 New York State voters approved the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act but, in a classic bait and switch, the referendum was revised at the last minute to include Orange County, which shares a border with New Jersey and is hardly “Upstate New York.” 

Now, two casinos with a total of 17 million visitors per year, are being proposed within Sterling Forest and between Sterling Forest and Harriman State Parks. The visual impacts within the parks, the massive traffic jams and unsafe driving on winding park roads, and the noise and lights from planned nighttime events will negatively impact the vast majority of park users who depend on these parks as havens from urban hubbub.

Two massive gambling corporations – Genting and Caesars – with powerful lobbyists are moving quickly ahead with their proposals and the NYS Gaming Commission is on a fast track to issue permits.  A swift response is essential for all recreationists who love the Hudson Highlands of Harriman and Sterling Forest.

June 30, 2014 was the deadline for would-be casino developers in New York State to complete their project applications for the state's Gaming Facilities Board. 

When the day came and went, 17 complete applications were in the hopper; just four will be selected by the Gaming Facilities Board to move ahead.



News Articles: Sterling Forest Resort DEIS Shows Casino Impact (Nov. 15, 2014)

Times Herald-Record: Casino decision at least 10 days away (Nov. 10, 2014)

New York Times: As Casinos Close in Atlantic City, a Push for More, Closer to New York (Aug. 19, 2014)