Expected to award licenses to three upstate casino developers for the state’s first Las Vegas-style casinos, Mark Gearan, chairman of the New York State Gaming Commission announced his resignation on Monday.
Gearan, who is also the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, told fellow commissioners that the work required as the boards chairman took too much time away from other duties and responsibilities his other roles demand, according to spokesman Lee Park. Fellow commissioners named Gearan chairman, and he was confirmed by the state senate in March 2014.
In a prepared statement executive director of the commission, Robert Williams said, “We are incredibly grateful to Chairman Gearan for his dedicated service at the Gaming Commission,” adding “His tenure has overseen a great deal of progress in gaming regulation and New York State is a better place because of his work. While we will miss him at the Commission, we wish him the best in the many other important endeavors he is undertaking.”
No replacement for the Harvard grad has been announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo who appointed Gearan to the position in January 2014. The New York State Gaming Commission which has no vice chairman, operated without a leader for several months in 2013.
Background investigations of the developers chosen to build the three upstate casinos are being finalized by the New York State police and commission staff. Final licensure decisions from the state could be made and licenses issued as soon as September 30 for the Montreign Resort Casino in the Catskills, Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in the city of Schenectady, and Lago Resort & Casino in the Finger Lakes town of Tyre in Seneca County.