ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Forget fax machines or email attachments — developers hoping to build casinos in New York state used boxes, binders and trucks to submit their proposals to gambling regulators ahead of Monday’s application deadline.
The 17 contenders for an upstate casino licenses include local investors and international gambling companies such as Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International and the Genting Group.
The application deadline begins months of reviews by a state panel tasked with recommending winning proposals to the state’s Gaming Commission. Up to four licenses will be divided among three regions: the Albany-Saratoga area, the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region and the Catskills and mid-Hudson River Valley. The winning proposals are expected to be announced in early fall.
With their proximity to New York City, the Catskills and mid-Hudson River Valley attracted nine applications, with six in Orange County.
The applications submitted before the 4 p.m. deadline were detailed and long. Empire Resorts unloaded 280 boxes on Monday from a truck that was escorted by an armed security detail.
“Today everything gets very real,” Empire Resorts vice president Charles Degliomini said.
Empire proposes to build the Montreign Resort Casino in the Sullivan County town of Thompson, about 90 miles northwest of New York City. Empire said the size and cost of the project would be dependent on the number and location of casino licenses issued. It’s widely believed that a casino closer to New York City in Orange County would siphon business from companion casinos in Sullivan or Ulster counties.
Caesars filed its 6,000-page application for Caesars New York, about 50 miles from New York City in Woodbury in Orange County, near the sprawling Woodbury Commons shopping center.
Genting submitted bids for two casinos in Tuxedo and Montgomery in Orange County. Cordish Companies and Penn National Gaming submitted a joint Orange County bid, as did Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Rush Street Gaming of Chicago. The latter proposal — for a site in Newburgh — filled 21 boxes that were delivered by U-Haul.
Greenetrack filed for Grand Hudson Casino and Resort at Stewart Airport in Orange County. Mohegan Sun filed an application to build a casino by the site of the old Concord resort in Sullivan County.
Developers behind the plan to build a casino resort at the old Nevele resort in Ulster County rented a U-Haul to drop off 10 copies of their 10,000-page applications to regulators in Schenectady.
Five bids were received for the capital region, from Howe Caverns Resort and Casino, Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor, the Florida Acquisition Group, Hard Rock International and Saratoga Casino and Raceway, which is partnering with Churchill Downs on the bid.
In the Finger Lakes-Southern Tier, Lago Resort & Casino, Traditions Resort and Casino, and Tioga Downs all filed applications.
“This is first base,” said David Buicko, chief operating officer for Galesi Group, which is partnering with Rush Street Gaming of Chicago on the Rivers Casino proposed for Schenectady. “Now we will see who submitted, and who didn’t. We’re confident we have an excellent proposal.”