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Area competition for casinos at key phase

Area competition for casinos at key phase

The Gaming Facility Location Board will release Request for Applications on Monday for a total of fo
Area competition for casinos at key phase
An ornamental cast iron horse greets visitors of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs. The racino is among the organizations interested in landing a full-scale casino.

The Gaming Facility Location Board will release Request for Applications on Monday for a total of four full-scale casinos in the Capital Region, Catskills and Southern Tier.

The state Gaming Commission’s Facility Location Board plans to approve and release the applications during its meeting Monday afternoon.

The applications come with a $1 million fee, which the board will use to look into each proposal. Bids are due back by June, with the board expected to make selections in the fall.

Applications will outline requirements for a casino site in the three regions of the state including licensing fees, minimum capital investment and necessary local support.

Several locations in the Capital Region have been proposed for a casino, including properties in Albany, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie counties.

Saratoga Casino and Raceway is looking to add live table games and brand itself as a full-scale casino. The casino is currently undergoing a $30 million expansion that includes a 120-room hotel, restaurant, spa and events center.

But in November, when New Yorkers voted to expand casino gambling in the state, 54 percent of residents in Saratoga County and 57 percent in the city of Saratoga Springs voted against the referendum.

Also, the Saratoga Springs City Council adopted a resolution earlier this month opposing a destination resort casino in the city. But the resolution does allow the council to revisit the issue as more information becomes available.

Last week, Rochester developer David Flaum and the Capital District OTB pitched to the Albany Common Council a $300 million casino and resort off Thruway Exit 23 on Noonan Lane in Albany.

The proposal includes a 63,000-square-foot casino, 275-room resort-style hotel and a 40,000-square-foot indoor water park. The project is expected to create 1,800 permanent jobs, with an average salary of $40,000 a year.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said she would recommend the Albany Common Council vote on a resolution to support the proposal. She said the site “from an impact standpoint, is the most compelling.”

Other locations touted as potential sites for a full-scale casino include Galesi Group’s Alco riverfront development in Schenectady County, 520 acres of farmland in Montgomery County and a 330-acre section of Howe Caverns in Schoharie County.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking to establish the four casinos in New York by next year. After they have been established for seven years, three more casinos will be built in New York City.

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