New York Gaming Facility Board Releases Solicitation for New Casinos, Set New License Fee at $500 Million

January 5, 2023 | Casinos

NEW YORK (January 4, 2023) — New York state officials have released the criteria it plans to use to determine how it will award up to three casino licenses.

The New York Gaming Facility Board approved a request for applications document at its meeting in New York City. In doing so, the board also set the license fee for each new license at $500 million.

The casino licenses became available after they were included in the budget state lawmakers passed last year. They are the remaining licenses from a 2013 constitutional amendment, voters approved that allowed the state to offer seven licenses.

The remaining licenses are expected to be awarded to downstate developments.

Applicants will be scored based on their potential economic activity, impact on the surrounding communities, workforce and responsible gaming plans, and their commitments to diversity. The economic impact factor will be the biggest priority, as it is 70% of an applicant’s score.

Any development proposed must have at least a $500 million capital investment, although many projects that have been proposed already far exceed that total.

It includes a $3 billion proposal to build a casino resort at Brooklyn’s Coney Island, which Thor Equities COO Melissa Gliatta said would be an ideal location.

“We are so excited to be working with Legends, The Chickasaw Nation, and Saratoga Casino Holdings to bring together the perfect combination of expertise, hometown pride, and commitment that will make Coney Island New York’s new beacon of economic opportunity,” Gliatta said. “We look forward to submitting a comprehensive proposal that drives the local economy forward and is supportive of the entire local community.”

There is no formal deadline to submit applications yet. Instead, the board set a Feb. 3 deadline for questions from interested parties. There would then be a second round of questions, and the formal submission deadline for applications would be 30 days after the board releases answers to the second round of questions.

While the board will recommend which projects should receive licenses, it’s not the only step in the process. Applicants must get two-thirds support from a local board, which includes appointees from Gov. Kathy Hochul, local officials and state lawmakers. Projects must also obtain local zoning approvals.

State lawmakers approved issuing the licenses a year earlier than initially planned due to the impact COVID-19 had on the state’s economy. In particular, proponents said the new casinos would help add jobs to a hospitality sector that took a substantial hit over the last couple of years due to the pandemic.

“Revenue from new gaming facilities is expected to generate substantial fiscal benefit to New York’s public schools, local governments, and problem gambling treatment services,” the board said in a statement. “The jobs created by these casinos must deliver livable wages to help families live, stay, and prosper in New York.”

By Steve Bittenbender

SOURCE: The Center Square contributor.

Tags: ,