Developers Submit Million Dollar Casino Bids

04.25.14 | FL News Team

Twenty-one developers submitted 22 application fees for a New York casino license before a key midnight deadline, according to the state's casino-siting board.The companies and partnerships who paid the $1 million fee are now eligible to compete for four total casino licenses available in the Southern Tier, Capital Region and Catskills regions, though formal applications aren't due to the state until June 30. The money was due to the New York Gaming Facility Location Board by the end of Wednesday.
The potential applicants range from casino giants like Caesars Entertainment to current tourist attractions like Howe Caves, whose owners are seeking to develop a casino at the site in Schoharie County. Others who submitted the $1 million fee include Tioga Downs in Nichols, Tioga County, Traditions Resort & Casino in Johnson City, Broome County, and Wilmorite Inc., a Rochester-area developer looking to build a casino in Tyre, Seneca County.
One potential applicant -- Saratoga Harness Racing Inc. -- submitted two application fees. The company, which operates a racino in Saratoga Springs, is considering more than one location, potentially with different partners.
David Flaum, another Rochester-area developer, has partnered with Caesars on a potential casino 50 miles north of New York City in Woodbury, Orange County. Separately, Flaum and the Capital Region OTB submitted an application fee for a plan to build a $300 million casino in Albany.
“As we continue to build strong support from a broad array of local stakeholders, we look forward to working in partnership with all elected leaders and community members to ensure robust economic growth for the region," Flaum said in a statement Tuesday.
While Wednesday was the deadline to submit the application fee, formal applications laying out extensive plans for the potential casinos aren't due to the state until June 30.
The fee will be used by the state board to investigate applicants for a private casino license, as well as the funders behind them. But the fee will be fully refundable until five days after the board sets the minimum investment amount for a proposed casino to be eligible.
After that, the fee will still be partially refundable. If one of the companies or partnerships decides to withdraw its application, they would be refunded the amount that hasn't yet been spent by the state on the investigation.
New York voters passed a referendum last November that approved up to seven private casinos statewide after lawmakers approved the constitutional amendment earlier in the year. The first four are limited to the Catskills, Southern Tier and Albany area.