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New York’s Preliminary Approval to Build a Casino in Southern Tier

- October 21, 2015 By Oliver Young -

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The owner of the Tioga Downs racetrack proposed building a $195 million casino

The project proposal to build a Las Vegas style land based casino in the economically struggling Southern Tier region in New York was given thumbs up by the Gaming Facility Location Board. The preliminary approved application was sent by Jeffrey Gural, the owner of the Tioga Downs racetrack.

The $195 million casino is one of the four planned under the Empire State’s plans to expand the gambling industry. According to estimations, New York residents spend one billion dollars to gamble at casinos outside of the state’s borders. Tribal gaming has been legalized for a long time now, but commercial casinos were legalized 2 years ago in order to help generate more tax revenue.

Tioga Downs’s Proposed Gaming Facility

The project proposal of Jeffrey Gural, who is also a real estate investor in New York, had been rejected in the first round by the Board. However, he revised his $195 million plan and proposed to turn his Tioga Downs racetrack in the town of Nichols into a full-fledged casino. The gaming facility would have 1,000 slot machines as well as 50 blackjack games and roulette tables. It would also include a hotel with 161 rooms, six restaurants and a performance center.

One of the chairmen of the Gaming Facility Location Board, Kevin Law, said that the revised plan is financially better than the other submitted proposals in the first round and that the proposed gaming facility would most likely open new job opportunities, more tax revenue, tourism and economic development to the Southern Tier region. However, the project needs to get the fourth license from the New York Gaming Commission.

If the casino is approved, Tioga Downs will become the fourth casino complex developed close to New York City under the planned expansion of gambling in the state. In addition to this, there are also 9 slot machine parlors and 9 racetracks.

Jeffrey Gural was very pleased to hear the news of his project approval and thanked the board and the governor. He also promised that non government organizations in the Southern Tier region would get $1.5 million a year.

OK Given to Three More Casino Projects

According to reports, New York also approved three more casino plans. The first is a $750 million casino which is going to be built in the Catskills near Monticello. The second is a 300 million casino in Schenectady, while the third is a $425 million casino hall in the Finger Lakes. The planned venues are expected to improve the struggling local economies.

New York is also considering the legalization of online poker. The hearing of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee last week was largely favorable to online poker regulation but it indicated that it could take years for this gambling type to be legalized.

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