Gambling expansion is coming to the state of New York in the form of four new casinos and today we will likely learn the names that will adorn the entrances to those casinos, as well as the specific locations.
Voters approved the construction of the new land-based gambling establishments last year and the Gaming Facility Location Board has been perusing 16 bids from companies with well-known names such as Churchill Downs, Genting and Caesars. The regions in which the casinos will be placed are already known, while the winning bidders are not — until later.
Three areas have been approved — Albany, Catskill Mountains-Orange County, and near the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. The second of those three is seen as perhaps the jewel of the bunch, Bloomberg reported, as Orange County is about one hour away from New York City and its population of more than eight million.
New York is already home to five casinos run by Indian tribes, as well as nine video slot parlors located at horse racing facilities. The new casinos are expected to co-exist with the land-based gaming operations currently operating.
Following the announcement of the winning bids — a Christmas present of sorts for those chosen — the New York State Gaming Commission must also give their rubber-stamped approval. A likely mere formality, as the Gaming Facility Location Board was specifically set up to handle much of the process.
Online Poker Next?
New York lawmakers took a look at two online poker bills introduced this year. Sen. John Bonacic proposed S 6913 in the spring and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow followed with A09509 weeks later.
Both bills aimed to allow games requiring skill to be regulated, while excluding house-banked casino games. Both also cited the need for safeguards that regulation would provide, noting that many New Yorkers play at unregulated sites where protection and safety of funds is questionable.
Two East Coast states have already enacted online poker and gambling legislation — Delaware and New Jersey — and another, Pennsylvania, may be next in line following in-depth research into the possibility. The bills introduced in New York did not gain much traction, but the state is miles ahead of other states who have yet to even consider proposals.
Perhaps after the identities and locations of the winning casino bidders are named and construction is underway, online poker regulation can be debated with greater intensity. New York is the third largest state in terms of population and would be much-welcomed as a regulated state by online poker and gambling activists.