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Lawmakers strive to expedite casino licences in NYC

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Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow are backing proposed legislation for the introduction of casino licenses in New York City, intending to expedite the current timeframe.

As reported by the New York Post, the two Democrat lawmakers are striving to deliver change in the late stages of the state legislative session which requires bids to be tabled by July 31, and for the gaming commission to sign off on three casino licenses by March 31, 2025.

The State Gaming Commission recently briefed that the new casino approvals would not be granted until December 31, next year, which has caused consternation from officials who are ready to commence plans for new gaming facilities. One of those is a prominent Sands Casino representative who wants to deliver a facility at the Nassau Coliseum hub in Uniondale, Long Island.

Others such as Steve Cohen, owner of MLB’s New York Mets, have plans for their own premises, with an $8 billion casino and entertainment project drawn up for Citi Field in Queens, while Related Companies/Caesars want to deliver a $12 billion casino mixed with an office tower at Hudson Yards, Manhattan.

Some industry figures insist the longer timeframe favors those developers such as Cohen and Caesars due to unresolved issues around land use and political approval. In response, they argue a fast-track approval would benefit existing slot owners – Resorts World at Aqueduct race track and MGM  Empire City at Yonkers raceway – who want to acquire a casino license.

Leaving billions of dollars on the table

Addabbo and Pretlow are adamant they want action to deliver jobs and public money, instead of leaving billions of dollars worth of resources on the table.

“It’s taking too long, there are inefficiencies. We have to move. There are 5,000 jobs on hold — minimally,” said Addabbo, with both politicians insisting they have no favored proposals from the several operators pushing for a license.

Pretlow added, “I’ve been trying to get the process moving. It’s taking too long. We’re leaving $2 billion on the table.” “Why are we stringing this along? We’re spinning our wheels here.”

All of the bidders in the tender process would be required to pay the state an upfront license fee of at least $500 million.

It is possible that winning bidders could be granted two years to resolve any land use or regulatory problems, but local authorities may be hesitant to recommend to the gaming commission any plans with ongoing issues to untangle

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who oversees the commission, was said to be resolute on whether or not to accelerate the casino licensing process, with a spokesperson stating  “Governor Hochul will review all legislation that passes both houses of the legislature.”

Image credit: Ideogram

The post Lawmakers strive to expedite casino licences in NYC appeared first on ReadWrite.

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