Deadline for 2nd Round of Questions on Downstate Casinos Nears

Deadline for 2nd Round of Questions on Downstate Casinos Nears
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The second process phase for the much anticipated three casino licenses in downstate New York will be upon the Empire State next week. After answers to the first round of questions by interested bidders — 613, to be exact — were published on Aug. 31, a 30-day timetable for the second round of questions was immediately implemented,  with that deadline set for Friday, Oct. 6.

All questions will be submitted to the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board. Meanwhile, the future of online New York casinos is off the table until at least until 2024, pending legislation for iGaming.

Answers to the first round of questions for casinos in or near New York City took about six months to gather and it is hoped that this second batch of questions could be answered in a much quicker fashion. However, if state officials need as much time as they did for the extensive first list of questions, answers could take up until mid-spring to answer and publish.

Once the second round of questions has been answered and published, applications need to be submitted within 30 days. Those applications will be reviewed by a local Community Advisory Committee (CAC). Applications will need two-thirds support from the CAC, along with zoning approvals, before the GFLB can consider them.

Location Board Has Spots to Fill

The GFLB also has not announced any update for the addition of two more members to its five-member roster, including the naming of a chairperson. That needs to pick up, with so much at stake in the months ahead.

Competition for licenses is expected to be heated, with each one bringing its own style and vision in the country’s largest metropolitan area. Many projects with the intentions of applying already have been announced. Among those is Wynn Resorts in Hudson Yards, Caesars in Times Square and Las Vegas Sands in Nassau County, just to name a few. WynnBet and Caesars are established as sportsbooks in the state.

Each available casino license will be shouldered with a $500 million licensing fee, at a minimum. Tax rates are to be determined. In addition, Resorts World and MGM Resorts International have plans to renovate their video lottery terminal facilities at Aqueduct Racetrack and Yonkers Raceway into expansive casino resorts.

Last spring, under the budget approved by the New York legislature, it was determined license fees from the three new casinos will go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), as well as a portion of the tax revenue the casinos eventually will generate.

One step at a time. No matter how long, count on to keep you up to speed on the news and be there with New York casino bonuses when iGaming begins. 



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 ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.