This week will see New York State move one step closer to sponsoring the establishment of up to four new full scale casinos in New York State. A three day period of open public comments begins today, Monday, September 22, 2014, in Albany, followed by a forum in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday, and a third on Wednesday in Ithaca, New York.
What was seen a few months ago as a process with few issues for or against these new casinos, has developed lately into a referendum on casino gambling itself in the wake of multiple casino closures in Atlantic City. “Why now?” is a lament being heard around the state fostered by the fears that communities will commit to building infrastructure to accommodate these massive hotels with the possibility of little return in the future.
Those fears are real but this bulldozer will continue moving ahead at least through this initial stage which promises up to four casinos in three designated areas.
While sixteen proposals are currently being considered there are a few front runners, Genting Group and Caesars among the top players. Caesars has an attractive proposal destined for Sullivan County in the Catskills, one of the original areas pin-pointed for renewal. Genting’s proposal is for a large complex in Tuxedo, New York, a mere 40 miles or so from New York City. While this proposal promises to be the most successful endeavor overall due to its proximity to the City, it misses the mark as far as “renewal” is concerned. Tuxedo Park is an affluent community and, by all accounts, is not looking for a casino to attract outsiders to its borders.
Soon all of this will be in the hands of the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board, the state entity charged with holding these public hearings. Once the hearings are completed, all will be turned over to the Gaming Commission which has promised decisions by the end of 2014.
My money is on Genting and Caesars to get two of the possibly four deals. But, at this point, everyone is a long shot. Stay tuned for more.