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NY Takes Time to Review Casino Deals So As Not To Get Underlaid

New York State Casinos

The three new casinos will mean good jobs, good development but casino executives first have to pass background checks.

As New York state Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo foresees the creation of thousands of local jobs and boosting economic development, state officials warn that they have yet to finalize the details.

State officials have commenced the final round of background checks of casino executives and environmental reviews before work on new casinos can begin. The three casinos will help economic development and will certainly boost the competition with existing gambling halls.

The three new casinos coming to upstate New York are Montreign in Sullivan County in the Catskills, Lago in Seneca County in the Finger Lakes and Rivers casino in Schenectady. Although only 3 casinos were chosen from the 16 bidders, surrounding communities will benefit and new tax revenues will be generated.

Should casino bidders who were not chosen or local residents make some legal charges, the construction process may be delayed further. Otherwise, a spokesman for the commission, Lee Park, announced that the Commission would issue the licenses in keeping with US gambling laws soon enough and “in a responsible manner”.

Developers anxious to build their multi-billion complexes

Developers of the three facilities who were chosen by the NY state board last week say they’re eager to get started. However, State officials said last Monday they’re carrying out their investigation as rapidly as possible.

Rivers Casino & Resort developers would like to start work early 2015 on the Schenectady County site. The $300 million project will see the construction of a 50,000 square-foot gaming floor, 1,150 slot machines, 66 table games, public green spaces on the riverfront, and a new 150-room hotel.

Robert Williams, commission Executive Director said during the state Gaming Commission meeting last Monday that he visited the Schenectady County site. He proclaimed the Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor ‘an early Christmas gift for the community’.

Williams also travelled to the Sullivan County where the Montreign Resort Casino will be built. The investment, amounting to $1.1 billion, will give way to an 18-story casino, hotel and entertainment complex, with 2,150 slot machines, 61 table games in its US poker rooms, and 391 hotel rooms.

An 80,000-square-foot indoor waterpark lodge will be built as well, a 200,000-square-foot entertainment village and a golf course. Its developer, Empire Resorts, operates through a subsidiary, Monticello Casino & Raceway, which is near the site

The third developer, Lago, has said that half its revenues will come from existing customers who now frequent other casinos. With its location off the Thruway and its quality resort, the hope is it will be enough to attract people.

Developers have already started clearing its site so construction can begin as soon as the state awards the licenses. Thomas Wilmot Sr, the director of Lago, said that “Our intention is to get Lago built and operating as quickly as possible in early 2016”.

• environmental reviews of the casino sites essential
• Some say new casinos won’t have huge economic impact
• Spurned NY casino developers will try alternatives

The resort in Seneca County is about 60 miles from Chittenango. The $425 million project will be comprised of 2,000 slot machines, 85 table games, a 40,000-square-foot pool area able to accommodate 900 guests, and a 10,000-square-foot spa. IT is predicted that the resort will bring in some new tourism dollars.

The pros and cons of building the new casinos

A gaming analyst, Chad Beynon, from Macquarie Securities Group in Manhattan, said the three new casinos may bring in some new customers. It will also secure some money that’s going to out-of-state casinos.

It is predicted that 80 % of the new casinos’ business will be from within 60 miles of the casino. Beynon said the revenues from these casinos, though small, will boost economic development. “We’re not talking hundreds of millions (of dollars),” he said.

The billion dollar projects, all funded entirely by private developers, will ease unemployment plenty and even surrounding communities shall benefit. Small businesses are out to profit too and new tax revenues to support local governments and school districts will be forthcoming.

On the other hand, gaming industry experts, such as Alan Woinski, president of Gaming USA in New Jersey thinks that the three casinos approved by the state will offer minimal economic boost and small influx of new tourism dollars.

There are some fears that the pool of gamblers won’t go up that much either, as New York City gamblers may continue to go to neighboring states, like Pennsylvania, to gamble. Oversaturation and sites too close will just engender a survival of the fittest competition in the long run, critics declare.

The three regions were picked from among 16 contenders to spread out the benefits and to avoid competition with existing tribal casinos. So even though the critics may be right, they do admit though that a 10, 15 or 20 percent return is still to be expected.

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