Efforts to speed up casino licensing in New York

Efforts to speed up casino licensing in New York

Efforts to speed up casino licensing in New York

New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow believes it is past time for New York City to start realizing the benefits of casino gambling. 

The pressure is there because it’s been two years since New Yorkers were promised that the state will rapidly issue three casino licenses downstate, but things have moved slower than anticipated. Now it appears that decisions may not be taken until late 2025 or early 2026. To speed up the process, Pretlow and Senator Joseph Addabbo submitted a bill last week that aims to provide these permits by the end of March 2025. They see it as a means to benefit communities, particularly minority ones, by creating jobs and increasing revenue.

Pretlow stated:

“We must get this done because New Yorkers are counting on much more than blackjack or roulette tables. Black and Brown families are leaving the downstate region in droves because few career opportunities exist. School administrators barely scrape by on shoestring budgets. Commuters inch forward on long commutes marred by aging infrastructure.”

Pretlow stated in an article that New York is facing a $9.5 billion budget shortage. The casinos’ license fees, which might total $500 million each, would help close this financial imbalance. Some people believe these fees may reach $1 billion each because operating a casino in New York is such a profitable proposal.

However, before any of this can occur, they must first initiate the bidding process. They had expected to start in 2023, but it has now been moved to the end of 2025. Because of this delay, the jobs that these casinos are anticipated to produce will take several years to come into being. 

Aside from the initial license payments, these casinos can generate a significant amount of revenue over time through taxes, which could greatly benefit the state. With only a few days left in this year’s congressional session, Pretlow and Addabbo are trying to get their bill passed swiftly. If it does, Governor Kathy Hochul may sign it into law, which would resolve the casino situation by early 2025. This would give gambling businesses and their partners around two years to resolve any environmental and property issues before they begin construction.

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