It cost $1 million to file an application, millions more to influence the governor and the state legislature, and taxes on table games themselves will be high. Can't these salt-of-the-earth casino investors catch a break? Capital reports that the developers of upstate casinos want tax breaks from their small town hosts—at least $100 million in tax breaks over the next 15 years.

The CEO of Nevele, who wants to build in Ulster County, thinks $100 million in tax breaks is fair. Nevele's casino would be in Ellenville, New York, a town with a population just north of 4,000.

We have to fight much harder in order to get people to come up to the Nevele,” said Michael Treanor, the company's C.E.O, of his proposed casino, which would be about 95 miles north of New York City. “If you want to put a casino within an hour or 45 minutes of New York City—they’ll be able to print money in Orange County,” Treanor said.

In order to create all the jobs and tax revenue that will boost flagging local economies, the casinos will need to siphon off tax revenue coming into those flagging local economies. Make sense?

“The math doesn’t work without these tax breaks. Without them, I can’t put enough amenities into the property” to make it into a destination resort, he said, adding, “Smart investment bankers in New York decide how much money they’re going to give you, and they want to know, how much cash flow is the project going to generate?” 

When the "math doesn't work," then maybe the investment risk doesn't work, or maybe it does, who knows? That's capitalism. This is something else.

Naturally, other developers want tax breaks too. Local governments seem to be all for it. The governor who "owns" the panel he convened on corruption in Albany is for it. What could go wrong?