HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 20Issue 34New York State Awards First Casino Licenses

On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board awarded the state’s first commercial casino licenses. The three licenses issued were awarded out of sixteen applicants across three regional zones.

The commercial casino licenses are the first awarded in the State of New York after voters authorized a constitutional amendment to allow casino gaming in the state in November 2013.  New York, in July of 2013, had enacted the Upstate NY Gaming and Economic Development Act (“Act”) contingent upon the November 2013 referendum. The Act allows for up to two destination casino resort licenses in each of three regions across the upstate areas of New York: the Capital, Catskills/Hudson Valley, and Eastern Southern Teir. Further, the Act states that there cannot be any downstate casinos for at least seven years after the award of the upstate licenses. Wagering tax revenue from the new facilities has been allocated to the host communities, surrounding counties, and statewide education and property tax relief efforts.

The newly authorized casinos will join the state’s existing nine racinos and five tribal gaming facilities. The three approved projects include:

Montreign Resort Casino  (Empire Resorts, Inc) – Catskills/Hudson Valley Region (Town of Thompson): The development will include the Montreign Resort Casino, hotel and entertainment complex, an indoor waterpark lodge, Entertainment Village, and redesigned Monster Golf Course. It is a part of the existing Adelaar development in the area, which is designed as a year-round destination resort area. The casino will feature an 80,000 sq. ft. gaming floor, 61 table games, and 2,150 slot machines. In addition, several non-gaming amenities, restaurants, and entertainment venues will be located within the casino and across the Entertainment Village.

Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor (Capital Region Gaming, LLC/Rush Street Gaming, LLC/The Galesi Group)– Capital Region (City of Schenectady):The development will include a waterfront location that is currently part of a redevelopment initiative lead by co-developer The Galesi Group. The casino will feature a 50,000 sq. ft. gaming floor with 66 table games and 1,150 slot machines. The development will also include fine and casual dining options, public green spaces, and an outdoor arena.

Lago Resort and Casino (Wilmorite, Inc.) – Eastern Southern Teir (Town of Tyre): The development will include a casino resort and 208-room hotel and proposes numerous partnerships with local tourism businesses. The casino will feature 85 table games and 2,000 slot machines. The development has strong minority hiring/contracting, local work force development, and local partnership aspects.

Both the Montreign Resort Casino and Rivers Casino and Resort projects have stated that they expect to be ready to open within 24 months of the date of licensure, with Lago Resort stating that it can open as early as 18 months from this date.


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