Advancements in New York Casino Licensing Legislation

Back Advancements in New York Casino Licensing Legislation

The legislative process for casino licensing in New York is moving forward with significant developments. Both the Senate and the Assembly have approved a crucial bill that aims to establish clear timelines for the casino licensing process in the state. This article delves into the key details of the legislation, its potential impact on the gaming industry, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Legislative Approval and Sponsorship

The bill, known as SB 9673, received overwhelming support in both chambers of the New York Legislature. Sponsored by Senator Joe Addabbo, the legislation garnered a 51-4 vote in the Senate and a 51-9 vote in the Assembly. This bipartisan backing reflects the urgency and consensus among lawmakers regarding the need for a structured approach to casino licensing in the state.

One of the primary objectives of SB 9673 is to set a firm deadline for selecting the three casino sites in downstate New York. The legislation mandates that the New York Gaming Facility Location Board must make recommendations on these selections by December 31, 2025. Furthermore, the final deadline for issuing licenses is set for March 31, 2026.

A significant amendment added to the bill by Senator Addabbo allows interested developers to apply for casino licenses while still resolving land use issues. This provision is expected to expedite the licensing process, potentially leading to earlier developments than the mandated deadline of March 2026.

Economic Implications and Revenue Projections

Senator Addabbo has provided optimistic revenue projections, estimating that the issuance of three new casino licenses could generate up to $3 billion in license fees alone. He anticipates competitive bids from developers, with each license potentially fetching up to $1 billion. These figures represent the economic opportunities associated with expanding the casino industry in New York.

Governor Kathy Hochul's support for retail casino expansion in the state indicates a favorable outlook for the bill. Given her advocacy for economic growth and job creation, it is highly likely that Governor Hochul will approve the legislation, further solidifying its path to implementation.

Discussions surrounding the awarding of casino licenses in the downstate region have been ongoing for several years. However, the process has faced significant delays, particularly since October, when the New York Gaming Facility Location Board encountered challenges in addressing inquiries from potential applicants.

The legislation outlines key requirements for casino license applicants, including a minimum initial license fee of $500 million and a substantial capital expenditure of at least $500 million for facility construction.

Environmental reviews of proposed casino properties are ongoing, with the New York State Gaming Commission anticipating conclusions by the first quarter of 2025. Any necessary changes resulting from these reviews could potentially prolong the licensing process and construction timelines.

Commission's Recommendations and Timely Action

The New York State Gaming Commission has advised applicants to utilize the remainder of 2024 to ensure that their proposals meet all regulatory requirements. This proactive approach is aimed at avoiding further pivots and delays, emphasizing the importance of timely and compliant submissions.

The advancement of SB 9673 marks a pivotal step in New York's casino licensing landscape, signaling progress toward expanding the gaming industry while addressing regulatory frameworks and deadlines. With bipartisan support, economic projections, and regulatory clarity, the stage is set for significant developments in the state's casino sector in the coming years.


''New York lawmakers pass bill to speed up downstate casino process''. SBC Americas. June 11, 2024.

“Addabbo has estimated that three new casinos could bring in up to $3 billion in casino license fees alone because he believes developers will bid up to $1 billion on each license.”

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