NYS Gaming Commission May Delay Casino Licensing to 2025

Updated On Mar 26, 2024 by Ella McDonald

NYS Gaming CommissionSummary:

  • Regulators will announce more information on licensing on April 1.
  • Potential license holders may have to wait until next year to earn a license.
  • A bidding war was expected for licensing in 2024.

It’s no April Fool’s joke. It seems that the New York State Gaming Commission has decided that the licensing process for three downstate casinos needs to wait until 2025.

The regulators hinted at the change last week, and more information should come out during an April 1 meeting.

If delayed, it will still take several years before players can access casino gaming in the downstate area.

Why the Delay?

Legislation to approve licensing for downstate casinos was approved in 2022. We are now into 2024, and almost a dozen operators have announced plans to vie for licensing. Three licenses are up for grabs, though two may be given to existing Class II casinos in the area. This would leave only one major license for operators to compete for.

Robert Williams, the Executive Director of the Gaming Commission, stated that the main reason behind the delay is that time is needed for approval of a citywide zoning change. Over the next few weeks, we should see this take place. Applicants are also working to resolve regulatory issues.

In addition, there are environmental reviews that applicants must complete, and more time is needed in general to meet all the requirements of the process.

An Updated Timeline is Expected Soon

The Gaming Commission is expected to give an updated timeline by the April 1 meeting. The board understands that several factors relate to the zoning requirement, including a new text amendment that was proposed in New York City regarding gaming facilities.
Applicants also asked zoning questions during the first rounds of questions to regulators. The Commission is now reviewing the questions and considering the many factors involved in the process to determine the updated timeline.

Potential operators are dealing with zoning issues and pushback from locals. Having more time would allow companies to find new locations or get the neighborhood on board for their plans.

However, it would also be negative because players would have to wait even longer to have access to full-scale gaming in the downstate area. The Las Vegas Sands Corporation is one such company facing issues. The company was found to be in violation of the Open Meetings Law and State Environmental Quality Review Act during its license process. The company has now had to start over, and this delay would give them more time to work on a casino plan.

It will be interesting to see how the state regulators decide to move forward with the licensing process. Hopefully, the process can move quickly so we know which providers will obtain the licensing and when new gaming options will be available to New York players.

Ella McDonald Author

Worldwide gambling related news stories are what you will find being written by Ella, she has a keen interest however in UK and European based new stories relating to all gaming environments, and she is always prepared to ask the difficult questions many other journalists avoiding asking those in power.

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