This week, the slow-moving process to open three new casinos in the New York City area moved forward. On August 30th, local officials released some long-awaited answers to a number of questions placed by prospective casino license bidders.
As CasinoGamesPro reported, the process has been making almost no progress for months, with the contenders for the lucrative downstate New York City casino license waiting for answers to some procedural queries regarding the process of application and the offers they have to submit to the state. Although the questions were formally submitted in February 2023 and a state gaming official shared that answers would be provided by March, the process took quite some time and dragged through the summer months.
On August 30th, the Gaming Facility Location Board finally published answers to the 613 questions they had received. Now, the applicants have the right to place a second round of questions on October 6th, and once the Board takes the necessary time to respond to the queries, the all-important applications will have to be filed within 30 days of the second round of answers.
According to the answers published by the Gaming Facility Location Board, each of the three downtown casino licenses will come with a $1-million application fee. The winning bidders will have to pay a $500-million license fee. The selected candidates, however, could expect great rewards in return for their investment. According to preliminary estimates, the three downtown New York City casinos could generate annual profits of about $600 million.
Multiple Questions Associated with Casino Operation Permits Raised by Applicants
Many casino license applicants seem to be worried about how New York City will bring potential casino venues in line with its zoning code, which is a big matter to take in mind. Under the state’s guideline, every casino license applicant is required to show so-called evidence of compliance with local zoning even before being considered as an applicant.
The Mayor’s administration has noted that all future casinos might see mass-legalization through a citywide zoning code that is set to be altered and, eventually, enacted next spring.
The delayed timeline has caused a number of applicants to ask how they expected to prove that they are compliant with New York City’s zoning in the weeks and months to come. In response, the board noted that it is set to create a timeline providing all applicants with a suitable amount of time to navigate through all the requirements before the deadline.
There were also some questions focused on so-called community advisory committees that are set to review each application for a casino operating permit and will be given the power to reject any offer in case the bid is not supported by at least four votes. Casino license applicants were also willing to know more about the committees, the lobbying associated with the process, and the timeline associated with the process.