Addabbo Upbeat About Downstate New York Casino Process

Addabbo Upbeat About Downstate New York Casino Process
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With the first major heatwave of the summer upon us, one might say there has been a cooldown on the progress of three downstate New York casino process.

That’s not so, but the heat is definitely on.

Let’s review: 
 
Back on Jan. 3, the New York Gaming Facility Location Board released a Request for Applicants (RFA), which included guidance, evaluation criteria, and an outline of the entire process timeline to potential bidders.

For almost two months (up until March 2), the Board had received “several hundred” questions from potential applicants and is currently working on those first-round responses, which then will be released to the public.

As we hit the five-month period on Aug. 2, comments to those questions have yet to be released. 
 
“My sense is within the next 7-10 days from today, we should see those comments to the first questions/answers period. I know there was a significant volume of questions submitted from potential applicants,” said Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D - District 15), who serves as Chairman of the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, on a phone call to NYCasinos.com. “The second round of questions/answers will follow, and I hope it’s a much quicker process that the first.”

After the first responses have been released, the second round of question-and-answers will commence.

Official deadline for applications will be 30 days after the Board’s second set of question-and-answers is published.  That deadline could be set later this summer or in the fall, but nothing has been announced as of this writing.

Once met, the state’s Community Advisory Committees (CAC) and zoning processes then would take place.

Any movement on New York online casinos will have to wait until next year at the earliest.

Up to a Dozen Proposals

Since the RFA went out, there have been 12 or more proposals that have been announced by potential applicants. 
 
“With thousands of construction jobs, money to education and now with the MTA monies attached, the state is in need of this revenue immediately,” Addabbo said. “I think there will be a range of 7 to 12 credible applicants. It could be more and some of the proposals may sound great on paper, but how realistic are they?”

The Empire State currently has 11 casinos upstate, seven run by Native American tribes, and four commercial sites that opened following a change to the state’s Constitution in 2013.

The four upstate casinos that are not run by Native American tribes: Del Lago Casino in Waterloo, Tioga Downs in Nichols, Resorts World in Monticello and Rivers Casino in Schenectady.

“I’m always an optimist,” Addabbo said. “I hope by November, applicants can begin to submit their official proposals and by the first quarter of next year, we have decisions made. Like I said, I’m an optimist; I just want to see the process continue rather than be stagnant. In other words, let’s get to it.”

Stay close to NYCasinos.com for any developments and for the best NY casino bonuses.

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Author

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.