Newsday Criticizes New York Casino Process

Published on: September 12, 2023, 03:31h. 

Last updated on: September 12, 2023, 07:37h.

The Slow Progress of New York’s Downstate Casino License Process

New York Casino
Times Square in New York City — a proposed cite for a casino hotel. Newsday criticized the state’s casino process. (Image: Food & Wine)

The process for awarding three downstate casino licenses in New York has received criticism for its slow progress. Newsday highlighted the initial energy of the exercise, which has now transformed into a slow-moving process.

The state board spent 208 days answering 613 questions from prospective applicants,” wrote Newsday in its op-ed. “That’s less than three questions per day. Some answers were thoughtful, helpful to the applicants, even insightful. But much of the Q&A contained simplistic and incomplete responses on trivial topics — like how much detail applicants should include in their submissions.”

As the leading media outlet on Long Island, Newsday‘s coverage and views on the matter are crucial, especially since Las Vegas Sands is considering building a casino hotel within the jurisdiction. Rumors suggest Sands is one of the top contenders for a New York permit.

Concerns Raised by New York Casino Answers

The recent guidelines provided by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) and the Gaming Facility Location Board (GFLB) regarding the bidding process have sparked both relief and concern. While operators now have some clarity, there is worry that the regulatory agencies focused too much on minor details, rather than addressing them earlier.

For instance, the recently-addressed answers covered clerical formatting and time zones for document submissions. Newsday argues that this doesn’t inspire confidence in the progress of the casino permit exercise.

“And it bodes badly for the process to come. If the state can’t complete this first step in a timely and thorough fashion, how will the next steps proceed?,” opined the paper. “How is the board going to navigate the Community Advisory Committee process — for which there are still no guidelines? And how is it going to manage the actual decision-making? The state has to do better.”

In addition to the casino license process, New York has faced criticism for bureaucratic inefficiencies in other areas such as permitting recreational cannabis locations and housing for migrants.

Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced cost-cutting measures, including reductions in overtime expenses for several departments, in response to the influx of migrants. 

Improvements Needed for New York Casino Regulations

Gaming operators will submit another round of queries on Oct. 6, providing an opportunity for New York regulators to rectify previous missteps.

The board should use these next weeks to evaluate staffing and resources and make sure it’s prepared to respond far more quickly. The rest of the process should be conducted in an open, efficient way,” concluded Newsday.

While bidders have limited options, New York is considered one of the potentially lucrative gaming markets in the US. Operators must work in accordance with the regulators’ guidelines to seize this opportunity. Among the contenders for the three New York casino licenses are Sands, Bally’s, Caesars Entertainment, Genting, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts.

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