aaron judge yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

A board to determine the location and siting of up to three potential downstate New York casinos was approved this afternoon by the New York State Gaming Commission.

The commission appointed New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Quenia Abreau, former New York City Housing Commissioner Vicki Been, and Stuart Rabinowitz, who served on the 2014-2015 casino siting board, to the panel.

New York downstate casinos to become a reality

The board’s main task will be to determine the hosts and siting of up to three potential downstate casinos after a competitive application process is completed.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s last signed state budget included three licenses for downstate casinos. Despite pressure from legislators, the budget did not include additional New York online sports betting operators or a reduced online sports betting tax rate.

The casinos can be located in the five boroughs, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley.

New York City, of course, has long been eyed by developers and casino owners as a potential location for new facilities.

The process is just beginning, members of the state gaming commission stressed Monday, with a determination on licenses unlikely to come before 2023 at the earliest.

The next step in the process will be for the board to issue a formal request for application (RFA), which will not happen until January 2023, according to a New York downstate casino website.

Board steps and casino license fees

The board must determine a number of necessary fees and public investments potential hosts will have to make to the state. The board will first determine the minimum capital investment requirement hosts must make, and consider whether this will include the price of the land where the facility will be located and any previous capital investments from a host.

Next, the board will have to determine the fee for a new casino license, which can be no less than $500 million.

Taxes will of course play a crucial role in the license application process. Board members will determine the tax rates for gross gaming revenues based on the proposed tax rates included in each host’s applications. Hosts will be required to include what they will be willing to pay in terms of taxes in their applications, so long as the tax rates are at least 25% for slot gross gaming revenue and 10% for gross gaming revenue from all other sources.

Potential casino hosts will be required to include a revenue impact in their application, pay a $1 million application fee to the commission, and prove compliance and approved with all required state and local zoning requirements.

The Gaming Commission will have the final say on license approval after the board makes its selection.

Covering regulatory developments in online gambling throughout this fine country.