Entities in the Capital District interested in
building a new gambling casino — including
Saratoga Casino and raceway — have until June
30 to file the application with the state.
The New York Gaming Facility Location Board
on the last day of March approved the request
for applications to develop and operate a gaming
facility in New York state and opened the bidding
period for commercial casino applicants.
“This marks the beginning of the bidding process
for long-anticipated gaming facilities to benefit
Upstate New York,” said Facility Location Board
member Paul Francis. “We look forward to reviewing
and evaluating the applications and will continue to
conduct an open, honest and transparent process.”
The RFA, as mandated by the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development act, establishes minimum license fees for commercial casino licenses in each region and details how local support must be illustrated.
The board said in a statement that as a condition of filing an application, each applicant must submit a resolution passed by the local legislative body of the host municipality supporting the application.
“An applicant’s demonstration of local support in fulfillment of this initial requirement is only a component part of the 20 percent local impact and Siting Factors criteria to be used by the Facility Location Board in evaluating applications,” the board said. “in weighing local support and opposition under this criteria, the Facility Location Board will consider public statements and declarations, letters or resolutions from the host municipality, nearby local governments, private organizations, community, religious and civic groups, charitable organizations, entertainment venues, chambers of commerce, local businesses, labor organizations, etc.”
Applicants are required to participate in an April 30 applicants conference, which will take place in the Capital region, be open to the public and streamed online, the board said.
“This RFA was designed to attract bidders who are committed to realizing the highest impact and best value to New York state, the applicable region and host locality,” said board member Stuart Rabinowitz.
“The measures and metrics contained within it are comprehensive and realistic and bring with it a commitment to integrity and responsible public policy.”
“Gaming facility applicants now have a clear, concise and practical guide as they begin to construct bids,” said board member William Thompson.
“Economic growth, good jobs and enhancement to the region and community are paramount to this effort and we look forward to seeing what bidders have to offer.”
The RFA mandates a different minimum license fee for each region. For the Capital region, it is $50 million.
The board determined that more research is required to establish appropriate minimum capital investment parameters for each region and said it would issue a determination within 10 days following the April 30 applicants conference.
Pursuant to the law, the RFA also requires the following elements from applicants:
• The location of the proposed gaming facility.
• The type and number of games to be conducted.
• Whether the facility is part of a regional or local economic plan.
• Identity of each person having a direct or indirect interest in the business.
• Submission of an independent audit report of all financial activities and interests.
• Proven financial stability by clear and convincing evidence.
• Information and documentation demonstrating sufficient business ability.
• Full descriptions of internal controls and security systems for the proposed gaming facility.
• Designs for the proposed gaming facility.
• Number of construction hours estimated to complete the work.
• Descriptions of the ancillary entertainment services and amenities to be provided.
• Number to be employed at the proposed gaming facility, including detailed information on the pay rate and benefits Applicants need completed studies and reports including:
• Economic benefits to the region and the state.
• Local and regional social, environmental, traffic and infrastructure impacts.
• Impact on the local and regional economy, cultural institutions and small businesses.
• Cost to the host municipality, nearby municipalities and the state for the proposed gaming facility to be located at the proposed location.
• Estimated state tax revenue to be generated by the gaming facility.
More information about the casino siting process and the Gaming Facility Location Board may be found at swww.gaming.ny.gov/gaming/casinos.php
The key dates for the process, the board said, is that June through August it will review and evaluate submissions. In early fall, the casino siting and operators will be formally announced.
The Facility Location Board and the Gaming Commission both have independent authority to conduct public hearings concerning applicants for gaming facility licenses, as well as the overall conduct of gaming.