Any chance for New York to award the downstate casino licenses soon probably has been dashed.
At Monday’s New York State Gaming Commission meeting, NYSGC Executive Director Robert Williams recalled comments he made in February about responding to questions potential bidders submitted about the request for applications (RFA) the state released in January.
He expected that process to take three weeks.
It turns out the bidders submitted more than 600 questions about the solicitation, and not all were of the simple yes-or-no variety. Staff members continue to go through the questions as part of a thorough review process.
Three months later, Williams declined to set up another target date.
“To be clear, there is no statutory or RFA-mandated deadline for the response to each round of questions,” Williams told the commissioners. “It was purposely left open-ended to allow the staff and the gaming facility location board members to properly evaluate each question and answer to ensure accuracy and consistency in response.”
When the questions are answered, the commission will publish the answers at NYCasinos.NY.Gov, the site it created for the solicitation. Another round of questions and answers is set to follow.
Up to 3 Casinos Possible
New York is set to offer up to three casino licenses to bidders that make it through both the local and state selection processes. Those are the remaining licenses from the constitutional amendment voters approved a decade ago to allow commercial casino gaming in the state. The first four licenses were awarded to upstate locations.
There are no legal NY online casinos.
With locations in and around New York City eligible for consideration, several large gaming companies have partnered with developers and other businesses to pitch possible locations for a casino.
Among those already revealing their plans, Caesars and Wynn have proposed separate projects in Manhattan. On Long Island, Las Vegas Sands is floating the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale as its preferred site. Resorts World and MGM Resorts International already have video lottery terminal racinos in Queens and Yonkers, respectively, and want to convert them to full-fledged Las Vegas-style resorts.
The winning bidders will pay a $500 million minimum license fee to operate in New York.
When online gaming becomes available down the road, you will want to look for Caesars NY casino bonus codes and those of other operators.
No ‘Rubber Stamp’ from Gaming Commission
Initially, the state said it did not expect to award any licenses until the end of this year. However, with the first round of questions taking more than three months to answer, it’s highly likely that any license decisions will not be made until sometime next year.
And the NYSGC’s work will not be done with the questions and answers. While there is a Gaming Facility Location Board in place to consider applications that have received local approval, Commission Chairman Brian O’Dwyer said Monday that the applicants also will need to be approved by his panel.
“I just want to put everybody on notice that that is not going to be a rubber stamp by this commission,” O’Dwyer said. “A lot of people who have backgrounds that may need to be looked at will be looked at, and we will be very, very careful to make sure once again that the casinos are operating with the greatest integrity.”
Stay close for news on downstate casinos to NYCasinos.com, which also will your source for NY online casino bonuses when the day comes.