UPDATE: Senate casino plan would site one in Capital Region
The state Senate's point man on casino siting has unveiled his own plan, which would include five upstate casinos.
The plan would create seven possible regions for casinos, with the granting of licenses to begin in 2014 and continue in a staggered process until the end of 2021. Exclusivity zones would be carved out for Indian nations with casino agreements in good standing with the state.
The full text of Senate Bill 5586 is available below.
The first region, which would be granted in 2014, would include the counties of Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
The second region, which would be awarded after July 1, 2014, would include Broome, Seneca, Tioga, Tompkins, Chemung, Schuyler and Wayne Counties, except portions that fall under an Indian exclusivity zone.
The third region, which would be awarded after July 1, 2014, would include Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie and Washington counties.
The fourth region, which would be awarded after July 1, 2015, would include the counties of Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
The fifth region, which would be awarded after July 1, 2016, would include Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties or Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming and portions of Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, Wayne and Yates counties west of state Route 14, where a casino was not permitted due to an Indian exclusivity agreement.
The sixth and seventh regions, which will be awarded between Jan. 1, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2021, would include Queens or Westchester counties or any locations, outside of Indian exclusivity zones.
Licenses will be issued by the state Gaming Commission as part of this plan. The selection of operators and sites will be chosen by a committee set up by the commission.
UPDATE: Finished reading the bill text and a couple things stand out.
- The bill allows an off-track betting corporation, which doesn't have a participating county with a thoroughbred race track or harness track, to have an electronic gaming operation. Based on this definition, it would seem like the Suffolk OTB would be the recipient of VLTs.
- Eighty percent of gaming revenue would go to education and 20 percent would go to property tax relief. The exception to this formula would be a casino in Queens, which would include revenue for Belmont revitalization.
- Only one casino would be allowed per county, except Sullivan County, which could have two.
- I a license holder doesn't start construction on schedule with a Gaming Commission plan, the state could revoke the license.
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