Monday December 21, 2015 finally saw New York state gambling regulators award three of seven potential full casino licenses for the state. A fourth license is expected to be issued to Tioga Downs later, along with one for New York City plus two more at currently unspecified locations in the future.
Casinos chosen by the state’s siting board last year were all approved for a full license after undergoing environmental, legal, and financial reviews along with criminal background checks of principals and associates of each of the concerns. Lago Resort & Casino will be located in Tyre, Seneca County. Montreign Resort Casino will be located in Thompson, Sullivan County, and Schenectady will see Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor. Tioga Downs was chosen in a second round of considerations earlier this year. No date is yet known for their licensing hearing but the casino is expected to pass easily.
Economic impacts expected from the three current licensees include$136 million in licensing fees, $265 million in tax revenues, and payroll for more than 3,000 full time employees. Investment to open all three casino resorts will exceed $1 billion with Lago putting in $425 million; Montreign, $630 million, and Rivers injecting $300 million into the economy immediately. The casinos are expected to open, respectively in the first half of 2017, Spring 2018, and Winter 2018.
Lago Resort & Casino, which will likely face a court battle from the Oneida Indian Nation, owners of nearby Turning Stone Resort Casino, will have 2,000 slot machines, 85 table games, spa hotel, restaurants and bars.
Montreign Resort Casino will offer over 2,000 slots, 120 tables, an 18 story hotel, meeting and convention space, and an indoor water park at the site of the former Concord resort on Kiamesha Lake next to Monticello.
The Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor will offer 1,100 slots, 66 gaming tables and a poker room.
Site work is already progressing at all three sites. Lago is under construction.
Tioga Downs broke ground in October. The race track and slot parlor moved ahead with work on a 161-room hotel before being granted siting board approval and will add true odds slots, replacing video lottery terminals, table games, a concert venue, and more restaurants and bars.
The New York Gaming Commission approved all three licenses without comment.