State Gaming Commission officials released a list of 21 companies that submitted the $1 million fee required to apply for one of four casino licenses being offered in three regions of the state.
The list includes Florida Acquisition Corp by Clairvest, a Canadian-based private equity management firm apparently interested in a site straddling the town of Florida's border with the city of Amsterdam. Howe Caves LLC, a land development company representing a sites in near Howe Caverns in Cobleskill is also among the companies that anted up.
Patrick McCarthy, a spokesman for Capital Gaming, a limited liability company headed by Rochester developer David Flaum and Capital District OTB, said an operator paid the million in the hope of developing a site near Thruway Exit 23 in Albany, but wouldn't identify the entity submitting the fee. He said another similarly named company —Capital Region Gaming LLC —also paid the fee, but is not affiliated with Flaum's group.
The operators of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway apparently submitted separate $1 million fees for applications they intend to submit in the Rensselaer County town of East Greenbush and the Orange County town of Newburgh. James Featherstonhaugh, a minority owner of the racino, said his company paid the fee twice "out of an abundance of caution" in case the leadership roster in the separate proposals are different enough to require two background checks.
At least one of the companies is actively pursuing a site being marketed by the Galesi Group, the developer proposing a massive redevelopment of the long-dormant American Locomotive property in Schenectady. David Buicko, Galesi's chief operating officer, said today his company is still very much in the game.
“I'm confident the operators we're talking to have submitted the application fee,” he said.
The $1 million fee will fund investigations conducted by the state police starting sometime in mid-May. The fee is refundable up until five days after the commission's gaming facility location board releases a figure for the minimum capital investment — something scheduled to occur within 10 days of a mandatory applicants conference in Albany on Wednesday.
Companies could ultimately pay more than the fee, depending on the complexity of their operations.