New York Casino Developers Must Act Fast

Bidders for New York State’s first four Class III gaming licenses have until April 23 to pay a $1 million application fee, and an additional two months to provide extensive information about their respective projects. Flaum Management (President Asher Flaum, Chairman and CEO David Flaum and COO Michael Palumbo) is planning several bids.

Winning licensees could pay an additional million

Would-be casino developers in New York State have until April 23 to pony up $1 million application fees, and until June 30 to provide supporting information, including environmental impact studies, economic projections and the like. Applicants must prove they are capable of developing a casino and opening by the fall of 2016. They also must state whether they need outside laundry services and if their gaming hall will include a day care center.

From the broad strokes to the fine details, these are just some of the requirements included in an 81-page request for applications issued by state gaming regulators.

“You’ve got to be a serious player; they don’t want any fly-by-nights,” said Robert Stocker, past chairman of the Gaming Law Committee of the American Bar Association. Stocker told the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record that some of the timelines are “unrealistic.”

Steve Rittvo of the Innovation Group agrees that the construction timeline “is a little bit tight. I would love 30 months to build, not 24.”

Charlie Degliomini of Empire Resorts, which hopes to build a casino in the Catskills, says the state has set “a high bar” for applicants, but his development group is up to the task. “Given all the work we have already accomplished over the past three years, we believe we are ready to respond to the RFA and look forward to submitting a compelling response in June.”

Bidders must also prove they have the support of the host communities. Monticello Raceway Management Inc., which wants to build a $750 million casino resort at the site of the old Concord Hotel, say the Town of Thompson Board has voted in favor of supporting its application.

Asher Flaum, of Rochester-based Flaum Management, sought the same kind of support at a recent meeting in Orange County. Flaum Management wants to build an $850 million casino near the Harriman Metro-North station, and has promised up to $42 million a year in revenue for Orange County, the Monroe-Woodbury School District and Woodbury, according to the Associated Press.The company also may apply for casino licenses in Mamakating, Sullivan County and in Albany.

Any winning bidder must have deep pockets. Depending on location, the license fees will range between $20 million and $70 million, according to the state Gaming Facility Location Board. The most expensive license fee, $70 million, would apply in either Duchess or Orange counties, which are closer to New York City, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. An Albany license fee would be $50 million. A license in the Southern Tier would cost $35 million.

There are at least three casino proposals in each of the three assigned regions?the Southern Tier, the Capital Region, and the Catskills?reports the Journal.

Representatives from Pinnacle Entertainment, a Louisiana-based casino management company, recently visited Mayor Kathy Sheehan in Albany to make a pitch.

“It was just an introduction,” Sheehan told the Albany Business Journal of the proposed E23 project, located off Exit 23 on the New York Thruway.“People have concerns obviously about problem gambling. But I also talked about the importance of creating jobs.”

A group looking to bring a casino to Binghamton has identified the former Stow manufacturing site off the Brandywine Highway and the Binghamton Plaza as potential spots for a new gambling parlor. Motel owner Vista Hospitality Group plans to submit a bid for a $120 million casino with 1,500 slot machines and 50 table games, reported the Binghamton Press.

The Foxwoods Catskills Resort Casino, proposed for the former Grossinger’s resort in Liberty, New York, has won the support of the community of Liberty.

“The proposed resort will bring over 1,000 good, reliable jobs to our area, restore our stature as a tourist destination and will spur economic development in the town and village,” said Liberty Mayor Daniel Ratner, Sr. “Not only do we want this project to get a license, we want to see it through to completion.”