With four potential licenses up for grabs and roughly twenty proposals to consider, a five-member New York gaming panel approved three casinos in the upstate New York area, passing on a location closer to New York City (and the state’s southern border), and approving just three proposals instead of the allotted four.

The three casino proposals must still go through the strict vetting process before ground can be broken.

When all is said and done, the three properties are expected to create some 5,000 jobs and translate into $300 million in yearly tax revenue for the state when they open several years down the road – most of the revenue projections call for 2019.

You can find more information on the regions as well as a list of all the applicants here.

New Jersey Gets a Slight Reprieve

The location of the three new casinos will likely be cheered on the other side of the Hudson River in New Jersey, where legitimate fears about further cannibalization of the New Jersey gaming industry if a casino opened in or around NYC were rife.

Casinos popping up in southern New York would have been even more problematic as New Jersey continues to consider expansion outside of Atlantic City, where a proposed northern casino, close to the New York border in the Meadowlands area is being pushed for.

Interestingly, New York’s choices open their own casinos up to cannibalization from New Jersey should the Meadowlands or some other northern New Jersey become a reality.

The Winners

The three “Las Vegas style resort casinos” will be located in Schenectady in what was called the capital region, Tyre (near Seneca Falls) in what was known as the Finger Lakes region, and Thompson (near Monticello) in the Catskills region.

  • Lago Resort: Located in the Finger Lakes region of western New York, the 200-room, $425 million casino project will feature “thousands of slot machines” and a 1,700 theater.
  • Montreign Resort Casino: Just outside of Monticello, and about an hour north of New York City, the near 400-room hotel will also feature its own golf course and plenty of entertainment options in its $630 million budget to try to lure some of NYC’s eight million residents to its doors.
  • Rivers Casino: Located just outside of Albany in Schenectady, the $300 million project will feature 150 rooms on a waterfront site.

Caesars Not On The List

After failing to secure one of the licenses in Massachusetts earlier this year, Caesars Entertainment now finds itself shutout of New York as well, as their proposed casino in Orange County was not selected by the gaming panel.

Caesars had proposed a $880 million casino in Woodbury, New York , which seemed like one of the better positioned, and grander proposals the New York gaming panel had to consider. The area is already well-trafficked by locals and tourists, and is located about 50 miles of New York City.

While no reason was given, the company’s mounting debt, continued restructuring, and potential date with a bankruptcy court may have given the panel cause for concern.

Caesars also ran into a snag in Massachusetts when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission raised concerns over Mitch Garber’s past connections, and his present role with the company. Instead of fighting the MGC, Caesars withdrew their Massachusetts proposal.

AC Somewhat Safe, PA Not So Much

While Atlantic City and the rest of New Jersey can breathe a sigh of relief as the closest casino to their border with New York City is still a two hour drive, the Thompson Casino is just an hour from many locations in Pennsylvania.

With even more competition, both states’ (Pennsylvania and New Jersey) gaming halls are likely to lose some of the traffic coming south from New York, but it appears that Pennsylvania should be more concerned about its residents travelling north  to the new New York casinos.

Steve Ruddock

About

Steve is a seasoned veteran of the online gambling industry, having written about it from every possible angle in his many years as a freelance gaming writer. Based in Massachusetts, Steve especially focuses on regulatory and legislative news coverage pertaining to the U.S. market.