New York State – The new Las Vegas?
Not yet, for at least a few years, but there are already winners and losers as the state expands its up-state gambling.
The winners and losers (many more losers!) are celebrating the promise of jobs, tourism and tax revenue. The facilities are projected to support more than 3,200 full-time jobs and generate $265 million in taxes, along with $136 million in licensing fees. Gov. Cuomo said that for the three host communities, the casinos offer the possibility of greater tourism and a chance to revitalize long-struggling upstate areas.
- The $630 million Montreign Resort Casino project includes an 18-story casino and hotel complex, meeting spaces and an indoor waterpark (a real great idea for scenic upper state New York, in my opinion!) Its developer, Empire Resorts, operates through a subsidiary of the nearby Monticello Casino & Raceway.
- The Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor
is part of a larger redevelopment effort at a formerly blighted riverfront site. The $300 million project calls for a hotel, a high-end steakhouse, 66 gambling tables and more than 1,100 slot machines.
- Lago Resort & Casino, a $425 million project, will include a spa, a 207-room hotel, restaurants, 2,000 slot machines and 85 gambling tables.
- The licensing board didn’t pick the bidders who projected the largest tax revenue for the state. Instead, the winning projects’ financing plans, and their ability to deliver for the local community’s economy were a major criteria.
- Orange County lost out due to many factors connected to its closeness to New York City, including that casino in Orange county would have taken too much revenue from existing gambling operations closer to the city
- Two casino proposals in the struggling area of the “southern tier” were snubbed in favor of the Finger Lakes project.
- The state’s racetrack casinos will face new competition from the three casinos — but it could have been a lot worse. The board held off on awarding a fourth license, and said protecting the racinos and slot parlors was one reason they didn’t award a license in Orange County.
- MGM Springfield – additional competition, now equidistant between the CT casinos and New York State, may chip away at what profit MGM expected.
More and more casinos to choose in the northeast. The interesting part is still five years away when every casino is in place – or out of business. I wish I had a crystal ball!
That’s all for now.