Board Seeks Proposals for 3 Downstate New York Retail Casino Licenses

Entities seeking three Downstate New York retail casino licenses now have the 70-page document necessary to apply to build a retail casino in New York City.

Today, the New York Gaming Facility Board (NYGFB) issued the Request for Applications to Develop and Operate a Gaming Facility in New York State. The request for applications (RFA) comes three days earlier than expected.

In a few months, the board will decide which entities can pay the $500 million license fee (for a total of $1.5 billion) and build three retail casinos in New York City.

Until now, only four New York casinos had full commercial casino licenses. They’re in Upstate New York.

So the board announced today about the Downstate New York retail casino plans:

By statute, a separate, appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will review Applications. In addition, the successful completion of municipal zoning and land-use processes will ensure that only projects embraced by the community would be presented to the Board for consideration. Other important components of the Application may depend upon the understanding of the potential competitive landscape with other Applicants, which may only be gauged after these processes have been completed.

Due to these timing nuances, the Board will not impose artificial deadlines in today’s RFA issuance, other than the due date for the first round of questions (February 3, 2023) and the Return Date (30 Days from the Board’s response to the second set of questions).

As the board’s statement implies, the process will likely last several months.

Ultimately, the board will decide which entities should receive the licenses. The aspirants do need to file RFAs first.

Meanwhile, would-be operators are making their proposals public. For instance, Caesars Entertainment and office landlord SL Green Realty Corporation even named their vision for 1515 Broadway “Caesars Palace Times Square.”

Downstate New York Retail Casino Formula

Downstate New York retail casino license hopefuls received a formula from the board today.

The board will take each applicant’s possible influence on economic factors (70%), local impact (10%), workforce enhancement (10%), and diversity framework (10%) into account.

In today’s announcement from the board, the category with the most weight is outlined as follows:

Economic Activity & Business Development Factors (70 percent):

• Capital investment

• Maximizing State and Local revenues

• Providing the highest number of quality jobs

• Creating a gaming facility of the highest caliber with a variety of quality amenities

NYGFB May Consult With Lawmakers

The board doesn’t have to operate in a vacuum, said state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Ozone Park.

Speaking to NY Sports Day on Friday, he said, “I was very impressed” with the New York State Gaming Commission’s (NYSGC) “professionalism” and “efficiency” during the lead-up to the New York mobile sportsbook marketplace launch on Jan. 8, 2022.

The NYSGC appointed the Downstate New York retail casino siting board.

Addabbo used the same adjectives for the current process, noting the “top-shelf” industry names among the entities declaring their intentions publicly.

Addabbo told NY Sports Day:

I’m excited.

Because the commission is working with language created by the New York State Legislature, he said lawmakers might communicate with the body about “glitches” New Yorkers notice.

“When we work in cooperation with the gaming commission, the people of New York benefit,” Addabbo said.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher covers online casino news for NY Sports Day. Prior to that, she spent a dozen years writing about marketing and working in that field. She was also a newspaper reporter in Ohio and eventually saw her bylines published in The New York Times.

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