Governor Cuomo Travels to Schenectady and Sullivan Counties to Celebrate Gaming Facility Location Board Decision

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today traveled to Schenectady and Sullivan Counties to celebrate the Gaming Facility Location Board’s decision regarding the new resort gaming destinations that were selected for each of the regions. The Governor joined local leaders to highlight the new jobs and investment, as well as revenue for local governments and school districts that will come to the regions as a result of these facilities.

“With yesterday’s decision by the Gaming Facilities Location Board, New York State is a step closer to realizing the economic benefits of resort gaming destinations,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects – all funded entirely by private developers – will create thousands of local jobs, drive economic development in surrounding communities, support small businesses, and create new tax revenue to support local governments and school districts. I congratulate the winning bids and host communities, and commend the members of the Gaming Facilities Location Board for their hard work.”

The Gaming Facility Location Board recommended three applications for review by the New York State Gaming Commission:

  • Montreign Resort and Casino, to be located in Sullivan County
  • Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor, to be located in Schenectady County
  • Lago Resort & Casino, to be located in Seneca County

With a combined capital investment of more than $1.3 billion, it is expected that the three casinos will create more than 3,600 permanent jobs, with approximately 1,300 in Schenectady County, 1,050 in Sullivan County, and 1,250 in Seneca County. Construction will require nearly six million man hours, creating thousands of additional jobs.

The Governor signed legislation in July 2013 mandating that 80 percent of the State’s net tax revenue from casino gaming be used for elementary and secondary education in addition to existing state aid or property tax relief. In addition, 10 percent of the State’s gross tax revenue will go to each applicable region where the casinos are sited for local government assistance, and 10 percent to be split between the host county and host municipality. Based on the estimates of the applicants, these facilities will generate $212 million annually for education, and each eligible region and host county/municipality will receive between $8 million and $10.3 million annually. Licensing fees are expected to produce $151 million.

The location of these resorts were selected competitively based on the economic development impact of the resort, and were restricted to three regions of the state: the Hudson Valley/Catskills Region, the Capital Region and the Eastern-Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region. No destination gaming resorts were to be authorized in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, New York City, Long Island or Indian exclusivity zones, and there will be a 7-year exclusivity period during which no further destination gaming resorts will be licensed by the State.

Proposal One, overwhelmingly approved by New York voters in November of 2013, authorized the state legislature to approve up to seven destination gaming resorts in the state.

Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady County
Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor would be a $300 million investment and include 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. An executive summary of the application can be viewed here.

Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County
Adelaar would be a $1.1 billion investment by Empire Resorts, Inc. and EPR Properties, and would include an 18-story casino, hotel and entertainment complex titled the “Montreign Resort Casino,” with 2,150 slot machines, 61 table games, and 391 hotel rooms. They would also construct an 80,000 square foot indoor waterpark lodge, 200,000 square foot entertainment village, and golf course. An executive summary of the application can be viewed here.

Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County
Lago Resort & Casino would be a $425 million capital investment and include 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. An executive summary of the application can be viewed here.

The selection process was overseen by the State Gaming Commission, which appointed the Gaming Facility Location Board, comprised of individuals with expertise in finance and development, who determined the required minimum amount of capital expenditures, the required license fee required of a destination gaming resort applicant, and today made the selections of the winning bids.

The board evaluated destination gaming resort applications based on specific criteria: 70 percent of the decision on siting a destination gaming resort was based on economic activity and business development factors; 20 percent on local impact and siting factors; and 10 percent on workforce factors. Local support for the Resort application had to be demonstrated as a threshold application requirement. The last criterion the Board considered was whether applicants fulfilled the intent to provide economic assistance to disadvantaged areas of the state while enhancing the Upstate tourism industry.

The Gaming Commission is authorized to investigate the suitability of the gaming license applicant, including character and financial stability, and set criteria for licensing individuals and businesses employed by or doing business with the resort. Destination gaming resorts and all related service industries will be strictly and comprehensively regulated by the Gaming Commission. The minimum gambling age in destination gaming resorts will be 21, and no smoking will be authorized in the three destination gaming resorts.

The destination resorts include new hotels, restaurants and other attractions that will serve as an additional incentive for tourists, including the more than 50 million tourists that visit New York City every year to Upstate regional attractions.

For more information about the selection process, please view the report issued by the Gaming Facility Location Board.

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