casino development

Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady is located at 301 Nott Street, Schenectady, NY 12305, just off Erie Boulevard.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

More than three years after New York voters approved a constitutional amendment to expand casino gambling in the state, Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady opened its doors to the public today. 

The first of four new casinos planned for upstate New York could be open by the end of the month after state gambling regulators gave final approval to regulations for table games.

Rensselaer Is On A Roll

Oct 21, 2016
Tuesday, Mayor Dwyer celebrated the groundbreaking of a new $3 milllion Hudson River walkway at De Laet's Landing.

The city of Rensselaer missed out in the casino sweepstakes and the chance to revitalize its waterfront. Then, a second chance to build a SUNY Poly tech hub apparently ran aground. Could the third time be a charm?

A judge has dismissed a legal challenge by the Oneida Indians to a casino under construction in the Finger Lakes that would compete with the tribe's casino.

Northeast states are increasingly looking to gambling as a means of budget relief and a source of tax revenue. Policy experts have their doubts. 


A state judge has ordered gambling regulators to give the Oneida Indian Nation some documents used to determine casino license awards in upstate New York.


Developers of a proposed Finger Lakes casino forced to restart an environmental review say it will meet or exceed all standards.

Construction at the site of a proposed $425 million casino in the Finger Lakes has been suspended after an appeals court voided its local approval plan.

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reports Mayor Richard David requested a special council meeting to vote on the resolution after an unnamed bidding group indicated it was prepared to move forward with a casino proposal.

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Casino development in New York State has forged ahead during the month of February.

The New York State Gaming Commission released a report Friday detailing the selection process of the Gaming Facility Location Board.  The report contains detailed findings on all 16 applicants in earlier bidding, which resulted in recommendations for new casinos in the Catskills, Schenectady and the Finger Lakes.

Developers who failed to land a casino license at the site of an old Borscht Belt hotel in the Catskills hope to build a smaller sports and gambling resort there. 

The board tasked with picking locations for casinos in upstate New York will consider Governor

Andrew Cuomo's request to reopen the bidding process for a license in the Southern Tier.

The Gaming Facility Location board last month approved three of four casinos, one each in the Catskills, Finger Lakes and Schenectady. Two Southern Tier proposals were rejected.

Leaders in the depressed area along the Pennsylvania border complained, and Cuomo asked the board to reconsider.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

Public officials in areas denied casinos have begun to raise their voices. This comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo's letter to the state Gaming Commission, urging the panel to reopen bidding for a casino in the Southern Tier. New hopes have emerged for two failed projects.

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to reopen the bidding for casino licenses in upstate New York to allow for a Las Vegas-style gaming hall in the state’s “economically ailing” Southern Tier.  The governor sent a letter late last week to the gaming commission.

"I'll tell ya the truth... we have the siting board totally separate from the executive, from the legislative, and that's how I wanted it. These were very, there's a lot of money involved in these applications. And I wanted to keep it as far away from politics as possible." ~ Andrew Cuomo

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Months of discussion about jobs, development and construction came to naught for several losing communities last week when just three casino projects got the green light from New York state’s gaming commission. But, communities and developers that lost casino bids are on the rebound.

Last week, the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board rejected 13 proposals in favor of projects in Sullivan, Seneca and Schenectady counties.

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The Oneida Indian Nation has announced plans to open a $20 million casino with a "Wizard of Oz" theme in the village where Oz author L. Frank Baum was born.

Ray Halbritter, chief executive officer of the Oneida Nation, tells the Syracuse Post-Standard ( ) the casino will open in the spring in Chittenango, 14 miles east of Syracuse.

The Oneidas announced plans for the Yellow Brick Road Casino four days after a state panel recommended licensing three non-Indian casinos, including one 42 miles west of Syracuse.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

Word today that Schenectady has won the Capital Region casino race also means proposals for East Greenbush, Rensselaer and Howe’s Caverns are off the table. The decision ends an often bitterly contested, months-long campaign.

The long-awaited announcement from the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board came shortly after the board convened Wednesday afternoon in Albany.   "In the Capital Region, this board recommends Rivers Casino and Resort" applause;cheers

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A decision on where up to four casinos will be located in upstate New York is expected to be announced December 17, the date a board reviewing casino applications is expected to meet for the final time.

New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams announced plans for the meeting Monday during a meeting of the commission.

16 applications have been filed and up to four casino licenses are set to be awarded for three different upstate regions: the Albany-Saratoga area, the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region and the Catskills and mid-Hudson Valley.

A decision on where to build up to four casinos in upstate New York could come any day. The board reviewing applications for the casino licenses expects to make its choices at its next meeting.

Sixteen proposals for casino licenses have been submitted.

Up to four casino licenses are set to be awarded for three different upstate regions: the Albany-Saratoga area, the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region and the Catskills and mid-Hudson Valley.


  Developers competing to build a casino near Binghamton claim that this Southern Tier city has been listed among the most depressed, obese, pessimistic and fastest-shrinking in the nation. 

It may seem odd for backers of the Traditions resort to highlight local lowlights to the state officials who will soon choose upstate casino sites. But a big goal of New York's gambling expansion is to bring jobs to upstate areas that need them the most. Casino applicants like Traditions are promoting not only their ability to make money with a local casino, but also how badly it is needed.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Three days of public hearings on casinos planned for upstate New York began today in Albany County.

Save East Greenbush

On Monday, Capital Region casino applicants presented their proposals to the New York State Gaming Commission’s location siting board. Politicians and citizens are lining up in support of particular venues.

The board heard Monday from four developers that want to build casinos in the greater Albany/Saratoga region. Applicants were given 45-minute blocks to show promotional videos, run through economic and revenue statistics and argue why they deserve a casino license.


On Monday, the four Capital Region casino applicants appeared in Albany to present their proposals to the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board.

With gamblers seemingly preferring to visit smaller casinos closer to home, the presentations four developers delivered before the New York State Gaming Commission’s location siting board offered practical mid-size packages.    "We are committed to developing the best site there is in a way that best serves this community, its citizens and its economic goals"

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

As established casinos across the Northeast close their doors or administer cost-cutting measures, New York is just getting into the game.  And although it won’t host a casino if its own, Albany has become a key player.

The mantra has been "jobs and the economy," and New York's capital is crossing its fingers, hoping for a windfall should a casino go up in nearby Rensselaer County.

Long before final word from the gaming commission, the casino siting process has local governments and residents taking positions and forming alliances to woo or shoo casino developers.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Casino developers have upped the ante in a bid to secure support from the city of Albany.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Even though the city of Albany is out of the competition to land a casino, the Common Council may soon get to vote on supporting one.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Though it’s far from having won the Capital Region casino license, Capital View Casino & Resort is holding a job fair Tuesday at the American Legion post on Columbia Turnpike in East Greenbush.

The company's Facebook page promises "Current employees from Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Churchill Downs, Incorporated will be on hand to discuss casino industry jobs and the required qualifications." No pre-registration is required.

New York’s gambling regulators will meet tonight to discuss the potential disqualification of a Mohawk Valley casino bid, but local officials are hoping the regulators can give the proposal a pass.

On the agenda for tonight’s meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission is a discussion surrounding the Florida Acquisition Corporation. The bidder is backed by Canadian companies Clairvest Group, Inc. and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation to build a resort-style casino off Thruway Exit 27 in the Town of Florida overlooking the City of Amsterdam.


How likely are you to visit one of those new casinos when they open for business in New York?

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Public perception of casinos among upstate New Yorkers continues to evolve. While new gaming halls will be built, people have become more aware of the long-term positives and negatives they'll bring to surrounding areas. 

A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll out Monday finds a majority of those polled favor building a Capitol Region casino.