Piqued interest in who will be on the New York casino board slated to pick winners of the three downstate licenses won’t be satiated by a determined deadline.
So says the deputy executive director of the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).
Today, Lee Park told NY Sports Day that the three members appointed to the New York Gaming Facility Location Board (NYGFLB) on Oct. 3 are it for now.
By law, the majority of members of the Gaming Facility Location Board (3 of 5, representing a quorum) had to be appointed by Oct. 4, 2022. There is no statutory deadline as to when the final two seats on the Gaming Facility Location Board must be filled. The Commission continues to review potential candidates for the remaining seats.
What Does This Mean for New York Online Casinos?
Once the board members select retail casino license winners, New York online casinos legislation may proceed. Full license holders will likely partner with online casino operators. It’s possible some of those operators are already running online sportsbooks in New York.
As early as November 2021, an official affiliated with the No. 1 US online casino, BetMGM, expressed excitement about the possibility of entering a New York online casino marketplace.
Bill Hornbuckle — president and CEO of Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International — talked about MGM’s app that’s a joint venture with Isle of Man-headquartered Entain. BetMGM Sportsbook hadn’t even debuted yet, because New York online sports betting didn’t launch until Jan. 8, 2022.
However, the CEO said during the MGM earnings call:
Again, for us, it’s an omnichannel play. It’s a brand play. And we’re going to have a huge presence there. And hopefully someday, we get to online, iCasino. But that’s something for well down the road.
The Commission May Never Complete the New York Casino Board
On Oct. 3, the commission unanimously approved Quenia Abreu, Vicki Been, and Stuart Rabinowitz to sit on the board. They may be among the five board members who will decide which retail casino operators will receive three new downstate casino licenses. However, it’s possible they’ll be the only board members.
On Jan. 6, they’re scheduled to issue a request for applications (RFA) from licensee hopefuls. Considering they equal a quorum as is, they may not yet be joined by two more members.
Examining activities of previous New York casino siting boards, NY Sports Day found the average process lasted for nine months.
NY Sports Day asked for comments from Abreu, Been, and Rabinowitz, but received the below response today.
Lee told NY Sports Day:
The Board members are not available for interviews, as it would be inappropriate for them to comment on the process at this time.
Rabinowitz served on the 2014 New York casino siting board that picked the four upstate licensees. He was one of only three board members.
AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth