22 Applicants Pay $1M For 4 New York Gaming Licenses - The Jewish Voice
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Saturday, June 10, 2023

22 Applicants Pay $1M For 4 New York Gaming Licenses

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NY will award gambling licenses to four upstate locations.
NY will award gambling licenses to four upstate locations.
Twenty two companies have applied to secure one of the four openings set by the state to allow gambling casinos. Each company had to pay an initial one million dollar application fee. This was only the first step in what is sure to be an intense bidding process. Applicants have ranged from smaller private groups to major experienced companies in the gaming field such as Caesar’s Entertainment group which operates 53 casinos worldwide. Caesar’s has circulated a plan that includes a proposed $750 million entertainment complex about 50 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.

The Genting group, an international powerhouse in the gaming industry said they would also be in the hunt for a gaming license. Their plans include a gaming resort that is part of a destination spot in the Hudson Valley or Catskill areas. Genting also has an eye on a development in Tuxedo, NY located only 40 miles from NYC which would make their site the closest to NYC.

Gov. Cuomo has promoted the casinos as an economic development plan for upstate communities that are suffering financially. He had his share of critics regarding the introduction of  bringing multiple gambling halls to various towns upstate but the strong initial response for licenses has been a bit of vindication. Cuomo released a statement saying “The cynics said, ‘You’re not going to get the applications, people are not going to apply, the time is done, gaming is over the curve, I think you’ve actually had more interest and it’s gone better than people suspected it might early on.”

Applicants are to attend a required conference with the location board in Albany on Wednesday. The meeting, which will be open to the public, is meant to allow questions from applicants about the process of gaining operating licenses. Within 10 days of that meeting, the state is to inform applicants of the minimum capital investment required for their projects to be considered.

The expansion of gambling in New York State is in no small part to the success of the Racino at Aqueduct. Both the city and state have taken in millions in taxes and if attendance is any indication the overall public response has been favorable. New York is already home to five upstate Indian casinos and nine racetracks with electronic slot machine parlors.

Formal bids on the casinos are due on June 30, with the board expected to make final decisions by early fall. Applications are to be evaluated on a number of weighted factors, including economic activity (70 percent), local impact (20 percent) and “work force enhancement” (10 percent), a broad category that will measure plans on a variety of issues, including training programs for the unemployed and addressing problem gambling.

Some communities have openly objected to the possibility of more gambling in their towns. In Saratoga Springs, developers at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway recently abandoned plans to expand their operations to table games, after residents and the City Council objected. Instead, the company will focus its plans on a site just east of Albany, where it would like to build a $300 million operation; the company also has its eyes on a location closer to New York City, in Newburgh, at the intersection of Interstate 84 and the Thruway.

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