Nearly a year after the selection process for three downstate New York retail casino licenses began, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) still hasn’t formally requested would-be licensees to submit applications. On Nov. 8, state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. told Bonus he believes the commission’s appointed siting board will be able to “acknowledge submitted applications” by the end of 2023.
Addabbo’s “faith” in the commission and its appointed body, the Gaming Facility Location Board (GFLB), comes from his admiration of their approval process for online sports betting. The commission readied mobile sportsbooks for launch before the 2022 Super Bowl, he noted for Bonus today.
That faith in the gaming commission will have a tight squeeze to be manifested in 2023.
Because as of today, the GFLB hasn’t requested formal applications from interested licensees. It’s still answering questions that would-be licensees submitted on Oct. 6.
As a result, one possible licensee joked about the process on Oct. 31. Caesars Entertainment CEO Thomas Reeg remarked on the timeline for licenses to be awarded.
He said during his company’s Q3 2023 earnings call:
I don’t have grandkids yet, but I’m hoping it’s awarded before my first grandkid turns 25.
Reeg’s personal expectation was that winning bidders would be chosen in 2025.
Faster Downstate New York Retail Casino Licenses
Addabbo, D-Ozone Park, acknowledged the impatience from interested licensees.
Addabbo told Bonus today:
It’s taking way too long … We need to move it along.
He said he knows the gaming commission can do so because it “did a great job with sports betting.”
That’s why Addabbo thinks would-be licensees can have their applications formally acknowledged by the end of 2023.
He told Bonus:
I still have that faith. I do.
The lengthy licensing process also means Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul isn’t immediately seeing the application fee revenue she hoped would help offset a $600 million 2023 budget gap for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
However, the revenue realized if a revised New York online casino bill Addabbo told Bonus he and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow plan to introduce before the end of 2023 may be able to offset 2024’s expected state budget deficit. He said iGaming will generate $1 billion in tax revenue, and the deficit will likely reach $4.3 billion.
In April, lawmakers approved a $233 billion state budget.