Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

- Subsribe at
February 14th, 2013

We Need More Than Just One Casino

The next several weeks will be intense as members of the state legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo agree on a legalized casino bill that will be placed on the ballot this November as a referendum.

There is no longer a question if New York State will get casino gaming, but what remains unanswered is exactly where these gaming parlors will go and how many will be approved.

Cuomo has said the first three of likely seven casinos should be placed in upstate areas such as the Catskills, but no one knows for certain how many Sullivan County will get or where they will be located.

While the casino debate will be strong and vigorous, without a doubt all of the first three casinos should be placed right here in Sullivan County. It will be an injustice if they are not.

For over 30 years we have been used and abused with casino prospects. It was the magic bullet that was going to stimulate our economy and revitalize our tourism industry. Millions upon millions of dollars was wasted as we watched the industry explode in neighboring Pennsylvania and other states.

I worked with the Seneca’s and Rotate Black lobbying their efforts to construct a casino resort complex in Sullivan County, we were so close, as was the Stockbridge Munsee’s and other Native American tribes, but yet so far.

Every major casino developer wants to get in on the latest gaming prospects. They are spending millions on lobbying and scouting properties believed to be approved for casinos. Sullivan County needs to get in on the action and woo these developers before it is too late.

The casino market is diluted and we need to also convince Albany that casinos can only succeed if they are grouped and placed in renowned resort destinations such as the famed Catskill Mountains and that we can lure tourists with much more than just gaming.

In addition to the developments surrounding the Concord project, the owners of the former Grossinger’s site, Muss Corporation and Cappelli Associates appear to want in on the action too. They have privately been meeting with Liberty officials including Supervisor Charlie Barbuti and Legislator Cora Edwards.

Barbuti told me, “I am glad Grossinger’s is on the radar. While I share the skepticism, as we have been down this road so many times, I am hopeful if casinos come it will greatly benefit our town and create jobs and increase our tax base.”

“Without an increase in jobs, no one will be able to afford to live here. And, without an increase in the tax base, no one would want to live here. We hold a hand with three aces, quality of life, location (natural beauty, proximity to New York City), and a caring community. The fourth ace, economic prosperity, would give us an unbeatable hand. I am looking forward to working with the powers that be to get that fourth ace in our hands.”

It is so hard to believe that we have gone from being a renowned “Resort Capital” to one of the most economically depressed regions in New York. The state owes it to the celebrated “Borscht Belt” to once again make us a thriving tourist destination, and one casino will just not do it, three or four might.

2 comments to We Need More Than Just One Casino

  • Ernesto Salvatico Jr.

    Very well written and straight to the point, Governor Cuomo must take into consideration the strength that the Borscht Belt once had for the state of New York. If all of our Government Officials work together in Albany and Sullivan County, This county will generate the life line that this state needs to become the (new) New York that our Honorable Governor is thriving for.If we all can focus our thoughts and visions to one goal,These casino development projects will put this great state of New York on the map once again. We all must lobby our Government agencies in Albany and Washington DC. So,Sullivan County can show leadership and prosperity for ever.I am sure that if we all work together for one goal, We can and will accomplish this task if we are given this chance. Public safety will have be to our highest demand when these projects come to fruition.Once the general public see that this area is a safe environment for one to come and enjoy themself, more developers will want to thrive here also. We must not continue business as usual.We must focus for one goal, for the better of Sullivan County and New York State. 2/15/13

  • Michael

    Really casino talk again if the state had assisted with one small business every 6 months over the last 30 years of casino talk the county would be in good shape. The state owes us nothing maybe we should have looked at public transportation and a train system. Go ahead roll the dice