Casino News

New York Downstate Casino Licensing May Be Delayed Further

The process for awarding three new downstate New York casino licenses may take significantly longer than initially expected. Previously, industry insiders and experts speculated that the bidding process for the licenses may open at some point this month. With the month passing and a range of processes left outstanding, it now looks less likely for the bidding to be launched during the first quarter of this year.

In fact, according to a new report, this lengthy process may be extended even by a year. A recently released report by Newsday, citing the opinions of industry insiders, suggests that the awarding of the downstate licenses may even happen at some point during the first quarter of 2025. This otherwise means that the process may take significantly longer than initially expected.

What’s expected now is for the Gaming Facility Location Board to release the answers to questions submitted by interested casino bidders. The first round of such questions was released back in August, while submissions for the second round, to which responses are yet to be released, started back in October. Once the Board releases the responses, a 30-day window applicable for bidders would open for casino operators.

Besides this process, casino license applicants must also clear outstanding issues related to zoning. Late last year, New York Mayor Eric Adams introduced a new proposal that sought to ease this process. This ambitious plan that sought to expedite the casino approvals faced opposition from Community Boards last month.

New Casino License Fees Missing from FY 2025 Budget The potential delay, suggested by industry insiders, doesn’t come as a surprise, especially considering that the license fees from the three casinos did not make it into the fiscal 2024-2025 budget. The FY 2025 Budget sets a plan for the revenue through March 31, 2025.

In other words, New York may miss out on significant proceeds unless the three casino licenses are awarded. Early estimates predicted a license fee of $500 million per license or some $1.5 billion in extra proceeds for the state if the licensing is expedited.

The FY 2025 Budget, released by Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this month, brought bad news for online casinos as well. Despite efforts toward the legalization of iGaming activities, the $233 billion budget did not include texts regarding the activity. According to lawmakers, this action may doom the legalization of the activity, at least for this year.

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