New York Retail Casino Licenses Could Be Awarded Faster, If Bill Passes

The process of awarding downstate New York retail casino licenses may resume soon. On May 17, state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. introduced SB9673 for that purpose. That’s potentially important to the state’s online casino effort, as Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul has indicated that she’s not interested in discussing that possibility until the downstate licensing issue has been settled.

Addabbo, D-Woodhaven, told Bonus on May 15 that he and his colleagues were working on language for the 6-page-long bill that is designed to help the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) “multitask.” The bill outlines a March 31, 2025, deadline for licensees to be chosen.

The commission planned to wait for potential applicants for three new full commercial casino licenses to resolve their land use issues. Then, it would allow its appointed siting board to request official applications. In that case, the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board (NYSGFLB) may not request applications from potential licensees until at least Q1 2025.

Addabbo told Bonus the proposed legislation would enable the citing board to request applications while the applicants were still resolving their land use issues. He said it may mean state coffers are filled with about $2.75 billion in application and license fees in 2025. Addabbo envisions that money helping offset an upcoming state budget deficit.

SB9673 gives the siting board until March 31, 2025, to pick the three licensees. If no applicants qualify at that time, the body can grant a six-month extension.

On May 17, the commission scheduled its first meeting since March 25. NYSGC Executive Director Robert Williams said the formal application process would wait for developers to resolve their zoning and other land use issues at that previous meeting.

The upcoming meeting agenda doesn’t mention the New York retail casino licenses. However, Williams may address the process status during his remarks, as he did on March 25.

Days Left to Decide

The New York State Legislature adjourns on June 6.

So, the Assembly and the Senate must pass SB9673 by then for it to be presented to Gov. Hochul. She would then consider whether to sign the measure into law.

If the bill fails and the licensing process continues at the same pace, some estimates say licenses won’t be awarded until 2026. So far, the process that began on Jan. 3, 2023, has not moved since Oct. 6, 2023.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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