Casino hopefuls’ cards on table

The state Gaming Commission on Tuesday released executive summaries of all 17 casino projects propos
Bill Gallop and Chris Tague, of the Howes Caverns Development Team, drop off boxes of licence applications, at the state Gaming mailroom to left, Scott Trazaskos and Kevin Nappi, seen at right. The proposed casino at Howe Caverns will be named the Howe...
Bill Gallop and Chris Tague, of the Howes Caverns Development Team, drop off boxes of licence applications, at the state Gaming mailroom to left, Scott Trazaskos and Kevin Nappi, seen at right. The proposed casino at Howe Caverns will be named the Howe...

Casino summaries

Executive summaries of the five casino proposals for the Capital Region were released Tuesday by the state Gaming Commission:

Unnamed Amsterdam proposal

Howe Caverns Resort & Casino, Cobleskill

Capital View Casino & Resort, East Greenbush

Hard Rock Hotel, Rensselaer

Rivers Resort & Casino at Mohawk Harbor, Schenectady

Previous coverage of the competition for a Capital Region casino can be found at

The state Gaming Commission on Tuesday released executive summaries of all 17 casino projects proposed for upstate New York, shedding some light on why each developer believes its application is a winner.

Sites in Amsterdam, Cobleskill, East Greenbush, Rensselaer and Schenectady are being pitched for a casino, but only one is expected to be chosen by the Gaming Facility Location Board, a five-member group tasked with awarding licenses this fall for four casinos to be divided among the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and Southern Tier.

Applications were submitted June 30, and officials expect to announce the winning submissions this fall.

The five proposed projects in the Capital Region differ in price and size, but have one thing in common: The groups backing them believe they have the best proposal.

Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor

Rush Street Gaming of Chicago and Rotterdam-based Galesi Group are teaming up on a $300 million casino project at the former Alco site between Erie Boulevard and the Mohawk River in Schenectady. The casino will house 1,150 slot machines, 66 table games and a 50,000-square-foot poker room. The facility will have an attached 150-room hotel with another 124-room hotel developed nearby.

Rush estimates the casino will annually generate $223 million in gaming revenue, $82 million in gaming taxes and fees and $50 million in payroll, benefits and tips.

Selling points:

• “It is a distressed area — the jobs alone will be transformative and will recast the future of this historic, iconic upstate New York area.”

• “Rivers Casino & Resort will draw consumers into the city, generating a steady lift for other city businesses and become a catalyst for additional urban economic development.”

• “The gaming facility and Mohawk Harbor mixed-use development will have a tremendous impact on a stretch of the Erie Canal whose potential is totally unrealized.”

Capital View Casino & Resort

Operators of Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Churchill Downs of Kentucky are pursuing a $300 million casino project on Thompson Hill in East Greenbush. The casino will feature a 70,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,506 slot machines and 56 table games. The project includes a 100-room hotel, 500-seat event center and a high-end steakhouse run by Mazzone Hospitality.

The casino is projected to provide $5.7 million each year to East Greenbush and $9.35 million in annual property taxes to the town and Rensselaer County.

Selling points:

• “It will create over 1,000 new casino jobs and a similar number of construction jobs. The full economic impact of Capital View includes $39.2 million annually in wages paid to local residents.”

• “More importantly we intend to host career fairs in the town of East Greenbush and the cities of Albany and Troy, to provide employee transportation from the city to our site and to partner with all of our surrounding municipalities to advance the entire Capital Region.”

• “Our mind-set of forging meaningful partnerships with local hotels, restaurants, schools, entertainment venues, and retail outlets across the area will redefine success for the entire region.”

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Hard Rock International is partnering with Global Gaming Solutions, the commercial arm of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, on a $280 million proposed casino project at de Laet’s Landing in Rensselaer, next to the Hudson River and across from downtown Albany. The casino will have 1,500 slot machines, 50 table games and an Off Track Betting outlet. The site will include a 100-room hotel, 250-seat Hard Rock Cafe and a Rock Shop retail outlet.

The casino is expected to make $260 million in annual gaming revenue and create 1,638 direct and indirect jobs.

Selling points:

• “The gaming facility will include a luxury hotel with an indoor/outdoor pool and spa all overlooking a new Hudson River boardwalk, as well as the excitement of the region’s first Hard Rock Cafe.”

• “Anticipated annual gaming taxes of nearly $100 million per year, of which approximately $10 million per year will go to the local area.”

• “The gaming facility is expected to open approximately 12 months after the beginning of construction. An affiliate of the applicant and Hard Rock recently opened the Hard Rock ‘Rocksino’ in the Cleveland market in just 10 months.”

Howe Caverns Resort and Casino

Emil Galasso, owner of Howe Caverns, is working with Michigan developer Michael Malik and Full House Resorts of Las Vegas on a $450 million proposal. The casino will have between 1,200 and 1,500 slot machines and 30 and 60 table games. The facility will feature a 254-room hotel, three restaurants, a convention center, banquet facilities, pool and spa. Galasso is also pursuing a 55,000-square-foot indoor water park, an outdoor water park, a second hotel with 250 rooms, an arcade, an entertainment park and another three restaurants.

The project is expected to create more than 3,000 construction jobs and 1,700 permanent jobs.

Selling points:

• “We will deposit, within 6 months of the award, up to $1 million into a fund to support a newly formed and staffed subregional economic development initiative for the Leatherstocking/East Central/Eastern Mohawk Valley.”

• “As will be demonstrated in our submittal, our project will be the catalyst in more than doubling human visitation and throughput to our region. Our project will put the entire region on the psychological map of not just New Yorkers, but a target audience well beyond.”

Unnamed Amsterdam proposal

Clairvest Group Inc. and Great Canadian Gaming Corp. are proposing a $250 million casino on more than 500 acres in the town of Florida and city of Amsterdam. The casino will be paired with a 100-room hotel, 140-seat casual restaurant, 300-seat buffet, 150-seat food court, 200-seat entertainment lounge and 3,000 square feet of meeting space. There will also be 300 residential units and two golf courses built on site.

The developers are seeking an additional 60 days to submit more information toward their application.

Selling points:

• “The construction project will be delivered using a construction-management agreement rather than a standard general contracting approach. This will allow us the ability to ensure local trades are utilized to complete the construction project.”

• “The building design is simple yet elegant. It responds to the rural surroundings, but even more to the rolling hills and beautiful site it is founded on. The uses of wood and timber elements along the public edges of the facility make a direct connection with the park-like grassy hills and treed landscape of the site.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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