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US – New NY gaming licences to cost between $20m and $70m

By - 2 April 2014

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board has now approved the request for applications for four upstate casinos with license fees ranging between $20m and $70m.

The Request for Applications establishes minimum license fees for commercial casino licenses in each region and details how local support must be illustrated.

Casinos will be built in three regions: the Southern Tier, Capital Region and Catskills with the most expensive licenses; US$70m being either in Dutchess or Orange counties; the two closest to New York City. The licence fee will be $50m to develop a casino in the rest of the Catskills, and $35m for a second casino in the Catskills if one is built in Orange or Dutchess counties. Developing a casino in the Albany area would need a $50m licence, one in the Southern Tier, which constitutes Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga or Tompkins counties, would demand a license fee of $35m whilst in Wayne or Seneca County it would be $50m.

If a casino were to be built in either Seneca or Wayne counties, a second casino in the Southern Tier would require a $20m license fee. There are at least three casino proposals in each region already.

Applicants are required to participate in an April 30, 2014 Applicants Conference, which will take place in the Capital Region, be open to the public and streamed online. Details on the conference will be made available in the near future.

Applications for gaming facilities will be accepted until June 30, 2014. At least 20 applicants are expected to lodge their interest with names such as Hard Rock, Penn National, Empire Resorts, the Flaum family real estate company, the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and the Stockbridge-Munsee Indians, all saying they will apply. There are currently five Indian casinos upstate in New York along with slot halls at nine racetracks, including Resorts World New York owned by Genting.

Facility Location Board Member Paul Francis said: “This marks the beginning of the bidding process for long-anticipated gaming facilities to benefit Upstate New York. We look forward to reviewing and evaluating the applications and will continue to conduct an open, honest and transparent process.”

Facility Location Board Member Stuart Rabinowitz added: “This RFA was designed to attract bidders who are committed to realising the highest impact and best value to New York State, the applicable region and host locality. The measures and metrics contained within it are comprehensive and realistic and bring with it a commitment to integrity and responsible public policy.”

Facility Location Board Member William Thompson added: “Gaming facility applicants now have a clear, concise and practical guide as they begin to construct bids. Economic growth, good jobs and enhancement to the region and community are paramount to this effort and we look forward to seeing what bidders have to offer.”

New York State Gaming Commission Chair Mark Gearan will host a public forum to discuss what to expect in terms of problem gambling impact and challenges when commercial casinos open in the state, as well as to identify industry best practices for both casino operators and regulators to implement to address those challenges.

This forum will be an opportunity for the Commission and the public to hear from experts in the fields of addiction and psychiatry, gaming industry stakeholders and problem gambling treatment providers.

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