NY to consider 4 new casinos amid gloomy reports
New York is gearing up to take applications for four new upstate casinos at a time when some gambling operations in the region are in a slump.
A state siting board is scheduled to seek casino applications in March, four months after voters approved a state constitutional amendment to allow Las Vegas-style casinos beyond Indian land.
A number of gambling operations in New York and neighboring states has reported lower revenues since the vote amid the harsh winter. But applicants seem unfazed, saying that, over the long term, their casinos could tap into gambling dollars now going to other states.
“You can’t look at a 90-day window. There could be a million reasons you get these short-term ups or downs,” said Thomas Wilmot Sr., chairman of Rochester-based developer Wilmorite, citing state figures. “But if you look at the last five years, it’s been a very steady increase in play.”
Wilmot wants to build a $350 million Wilmot Casino & Resort complex just off the Thruway in the Finger Lakes region, saying it could lure millions more to the area.
The casinos would debut in a state that already has five Indian casinos and nine racinos with slot-like video lottery terminals. Casinos also are operating in three neighboring states, and Massachusetts is in the process of siting casinos.
Some of those casinos have felt the pinch of more regional competition, including the debut in 2011 of highly lucrative Resorts World Casino, a racino in the New York City borough of Queens. Atlantic City’s casino revenue fell below $3 billion last year for the first time in 22 years.
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