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New York Opens Bidding for a Fourth Upstate Casino

- March 25, 2015 By Oliver Young -

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State of New York has opened bidding for a fourth Southern Tier casino.

There has been an announcement by the New York Gaming Commission this Monday that it will open bidding for a fourth casino licence. In the past year the New York Gaming Commission awarded only three licences, but there has been demand for at least another licence which would help the struggling economies in the area. According to timesunion.com, the demands have been heard and operators can submit their applications until July.

In the beginning of 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo asked gaming officials to accept bids from casino groups that wanted to build a gambling facility similar to the ones found in Las Vegas. The facility was planned to be located in the Southern Tier, a western region of the state that borders with Pennsylvania. According to Cuomo the New York Southern Tier is “economically ailing.”

However, some experts worry that a fourth licence might suffocate the gambling market in the popular Empire State. Its neighbour Pennsylvania already has 12 casinos and some more are being built. Also, other states such as Maryland and Massachusetts are witnessing gaming expansion on their territory.

Demand for Regulated Poker Sites

The state of New York at this moment has three poker rooms in total and another may be on its way. The state also has tribal casinos. Last month, 75 miles northwest of New York City in the town of Thompson started the construction for a $1.1 billion casino Montreign Resort Casino.

New York regulators have lots of work on their hands since the state is also thinking about legalising online poker. However, it is believed that this step is going to be postponed until the commercial casinos are well established.

According to a New York Times report, MGM Resorts has been lobbying for online poker to be approved. The same report stated that the state could have an annual tax income from $50 million to $80 million if online poker is legalised.

The pressure and demand for regulated gaming sites have been growing especially because its neighbouring state New Jersey made the step more than a year ago.

Toga Downs Announces Plans to Join the Bidding

After the news of New York Gaming Commission’s plans to open bidding to any casino operator looking to get a licence in Southern Tier hit the public, there have been speculations that Toga Downs is one of the interested companies to join the bidding.

Even though it is still early to talk about the bidding process and the applications are due in July 2015, for now only the name Toga Downs has been connected to it. This operator holds a racing track and electronic gambling facility which is located in Nichols, New York. The company has announced its plans to try to score the licence.

Toga Downs also took part in the first three biddings, but did not succeed to obtain a licence. Nevertheless, the company seems determined to complete its mission. This was also confirmed by its owner Jee Gural who said that Toga Downs has spent a good deal of time improving its application.

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