The gaming regulator for the American state of New York has reportedly named the inaugural three members of the body that is to be charged with officially vetting upcoming proposals for the building and operation of any ‘downstate’ casino resorts.

According to a report from local television broadcaster News12 Brooklyn, the New York State Gaming Commission unanimously picked the Chief Executive Officer for the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Quenia Abreu, to lead its new Gaming Facility Location Board. This Monday move was purportedly soon followed by the similarly-undisputed appointments of New York University law professor Vicki Been and former Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz as the eastern state begins a process that could one day result in Las Vegas-style casino resorts becoming a feature of the New York City skyline.

Significant service:

New York reportedly passed legislation in 2013 that saw it license a quartet of ‘upstate’ commercial casinos while placing a ten-year moratorium on the opening of three ‘downstate’ counterparts. The eventual five-member Gaming Facility Location Board will purportedly soon begin overseeing the bidding process for this potentially lucrative trio of certifications before making its final recommendations to the New York State Gaming Commission.

Promising pair:

Home to over 20 million people, New York is reportedly expected to grant its first two ‘downstate’ casino licenses to the existing Resorts World New York City and Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway venues from Genting Malaysia Berhad and MGM Resorts International respectively. Such a move would allow these slots-only facilities to transform into full-blown gambling palaces and leave a raft of other hopefuls including Wynn Resorts Limited, Hard Rock International and Universal Entertainment Corporation battling it out for the remaining third license.

Expensive endeavor:

Brian O’Dwyer serves as the Chair for the six-member New York State Gaming Commission and he reportedly did not disclose when the ultimate makeup of the Gaming Facility Location Board will be decided. Nevertheless, the seasoned regulator did purportedly reveal that each one of the coming ‘downstate’ casino licenses is destined to cost $500 million with any bids moreover requiring approvals from a Community Advisory Board and New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

O’Dwyer reportedly told News12 Brooklyn…

“With capital investment, direct and construction employment and the driving of incremental tax revenues, these projects will offer the possibility of tangible change to their host locations.”

Looming labor:

The Gaming Facility Location Board could reportedly start accepting casino license applications from early next year in hopes being able to finalize its three picks by the end of the summer. For his part and the mayor for the southern New York city of Yonkers, Mike Spano, purportedly pronounced that the transformation of his community’s Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway facility into a Las Vegas-style development would almost certainly result in an economic boost for the entire region.

Spano reportedly told the broadcaster…

It’s a regional booster in terms of the economics. We have a little bit of work to do but we’re excited because it’s all going in the right direction.”