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New York State Gives Three Casino Licenses
- December 23, 2015 By Oliver Young -
It took a long time, but the state of New York finally gave licenses to three new commercial casinos it authorized in the bill of 2012. The Empire State gave preliminary approval to certain casino projects last year in December, but it took awhile to formally give them licenses. The decision was announced on Monday, December 21, 2015 by the State Gaming Commission.
As of this writing, New York has five tribal casinos and nine racetrack casinos. Nevertheless, the government and politicians want to boost the economy in the state as a whole by keeping gambling revenue within the borders of New York. As a result, these few years, there has been a casino race in the Northeast with almost every state in the region trying to apply for a casino license.
New Casinos to Boost the Economy in the Empire State
Back in December 2014, Governor Cuomo asked the government to consider re-opening the bidding for new casinos. He pointed out several reasons to support his opinion saying that they will boost the economy, allowing it to flourish and they will open new jobs. Almost a year after, the state’s Gaming Commission’s Facility Location Board told media that three projects were selected for a license out of the 16 casino proposals submitted by various operators.
On Monday the Commission gave three licenses without any comment. The spokesperson only noted that the applicants are not on the most wanted list of FBI and that they have all cleared hurdles related to financial, legal and environmental issues.
There are already 40 land based casinos and racetrack casinos in the region. However, New York State said that its people spend $1 billion every year at casinos located outside of the region.
In order to help local economies, the state decided to put the casinos upstate and not close to New York City. Naturally, the decision was criticized by top casino operators.
Which Are the Three Casinos?
The three casino licenses were officially given to the $750 million casino near Monticello in the Catskills, the $425 million casino resort in the Finger Lakes and to the $300 million casino in Schenectady. The names of the casinos are Montreign Resort Casino, Lago Resort and Casino and Rivers Casino and Resort respectively. Montreign Casino started with construction in February 2015 and is scheduled to open its doors in mid 2017. Despite casino games, the facilities are expected to offer live poker games as well. Currently New York has three poker rooms that cater to 19.75 million people living in the state.
Moreover, a fourth casino license was decided upon in October this year, but the casino in the Southern Tier region didn’t get a license. The decision of New York to give three casino licenses comes as neighboring Atlantic City continues to see a diminishing gambling market. The state is currently considering opening new casinos outside of Atlantic City.