It's "casino crunch time." Today is the deadline for developers to submit their casino proposals to the New York State Gaming Commission.
David Brain is president and CEO of EPR properties ... heard in the recorded version of this article in an excerpt from a promotional video for Adelaar, one of two casinos proposed for Sullivan County. Mohegan Sun is behind the other project in the town of Thompson at the former Concord Resort.
Come fall, the state will grant licenses to four casinos across three areas: the Hudson Valley, Capital Region and Southern Tier. Twenty-two application fees were submitted in April. Some of those projects since have been scrapped, most notably the so-called E23 project proposed for the city of Albany. Developer Flaum Management abandoned the Albany plan to propose a Hard Rock Casino, described as a "Vegas-style resort," at De Laet's Landing in Rensselaer.
Some residents of East Greenbush have been fighting Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Churchill Downs' proposed Thompson Hill Road casino tooth and nail. One opposition group is submitting a packet to the State Gaming Commission. The packet is described as including press reports on the extent of community outrage over a “controversial” Town Board vote in June, petition signatures totaling more than 2,000, and other documents. Developers originally proposed an expansion at the Saratoga Racino, but ultimately decided on East Greenbush when the city council in Saratoga Springs didn’t back the plan.
Montgomery County is so hungry for a casino, it’s holding a parade Tuesday. Canadian companies Clairvest Group, Inc., Great Canadian Gaming, and American firm Vanderwalle & Associates are hoping to build on 512 acres spanning the Town of Florida and city of Amsterdam. “Destination 27” would be located off Thruway Exit 27.
Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane.: "Exit 27 is where there should be a casino, because if they’re going to really go after transforming a community, Amsterdam is the one.”
Thane invites the public to join the march from a local elementary school to Shuttleworth Park, home of the Amsterdam Mohawks baseball team.
In Schoharie County, there is a proposal for a casino at Howe Caverns. The Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming have proposed a casino at the former ALCO site in Schenectady. It would be called Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor.
In the Hudson Valley, nine proposals are ripe for submission. The town board in Tuxedo voted last week to adopt a resolution in support of “Sterling Forest Gardens,” a proposal from Resorts World Orange County, a subsidiary of Genting America.
Backers of the Hudson Valley Casino & Resort proposal for the Town of Newburgh say their location off Interstate 84 and the New York State Thruway could coexist with a resort casino in Sullivan County. Marc Baez is president and CEO of the Partnership for Economic Development in Sullivan County. “Theoretically, in the interest of harmonious relationships within neighboring communities, you look at this on paper and you go, listen, why can’t we all get along and why can’t this situation work for both of us.”
Former Governor David Paterson is a member of "the Newburgh initiative" group formed by Greenetrack that says it will invest millions in the City of Newburgh if Greenetrack gets approval to build a casino near Stewart Airport in New Windsor.
Caesars Entertainment is proposing a casino for the Town of Woodbury; other proposals are out for Montgomery and Blooming Grove.
In Ulster County, the village of Ellenville hopes to receive a casino for the Nevele. Ulster County Executive Mike Hein weighs in: "A relatively small investment in a location like the Nevele, can do something amazing compared to a huge investment in other areas. In fact, what we're talking about here is the possibility of virtually ending unemployment in a severely challenged economic area like Ellenville. Ending unemployment. That's an amazing transformation when it comes to the ability of this project to make a difference in that community."
Development groups planning to file casino applications face a 4 p.m. deadline. The Gaming Facilities Location Board is expected to release a list of formal applications this afternoon. The Gaming Commission envisions four casinos in upstate New York, with at least one but no more than two in the Capital District, the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier.