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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Casino Race Gets Full Field at Post Time

On deadline day, 17 bids for a casino in New York State were formally submitted to the New York Gaming Commission.

With unofficial results in, about 25,000 pounds of paper was delivered to the Schenectady loading dock of the New York Gaming Commission by the 4 p.m. deadline Monday. [Capitol Confidential]
That means that there were no surprise last-minute dropouts, which may come as a surprise to some. In the Exhibit B meeting notes submitted with the East Greenbush complaint, it was noted that 'Feathers' suspects "only 14 will follow through on June 30."  He suspected wrong.  "May drop out" was the notation for Howe Caverns, but that proposal is indeed in, and in a big way. 
The Howe Caverns project, according to people involved, calls for $330 million to $450 million in spending and would include a waterpark, a dinosaur theater and two hotels, a 254-room lodging house at the casino and a 250-room hotel at the waterpark side of the project. [Albany Times-Union]
OK, we've heard a lot of nonsense concerning the waterparks and other extra attractions planned for these facilities (in large part to soften and obscure the image of them actually being hardcore gambling parlors), but I'm pretty sure that this is the only proposal that includes a dinosaur theater.  Have a feeling that one may lay quite a big egg.  The Howe Caverns team has also engaged casino developer Michael Malik, who is associated with the Ilitch family of Detroit, who owns the Tigers and the Motor City Casino, and which hoped at one time to operate a casino in partnership with the Shinnecock tribe on Eastern Long Island.  In 2010, Malik had New York campaign contributions, including one to the IDC head Senator Jeff Klein, returned due to his being fined in California for illegally failing to report campaign contributions.  According to the Times Union article, Malik "would own the gambling hall." 
The developers are pledging to create a $1 million fund for workforce training and another $1 million fund to pay for tourism activities in the region and hope to market their project as an attraction in the neighborhood of Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame.
Malik could probably score some Detroit Tigers caps for gamblers.  I mean, that seems like a natural doubleheader, doesn't it?  Take the family to see the Hall of Fame, and then a little gambling and waterpark fun.

Genting has two active bids in Orange County.  We've written some about the proposal for Tuxedo; the other one is proposed for Montgomery, NY, whose town board granted unanimous approval to the project last month.

One surprise was that Empire Resorts/EPR Properties announced that it has increased its investment in their proposed casino at the Concord to $1 billion, up from $750 million.  You can build a lot of waterparks and dinosaur theaters with that kind of money.  Here's a photo, from the Times Herald-Record, of Empire Resorts Executive VP Charlie Degliomini with the truck carrying their 280 boxes of documents.

The sign says: #MakingSullivanCountyProud. I'm so sure.
Empire would contribute $630 million for the casino with EPR chipping in the rest for a water-park hotel, adventure park and golf course—and gambling operations. "Empire has the advantage of committed financing in place, no matter the competitive environment," said Emanuel Pearlman, chairman of Empire. [Wall Street Journal]
Oops, no dinosaurs here, just an adventure park.  (Amongst other family fun.  Check out the home page of their website; the word 'casino' is mentioned exactly once amongst all those picturesque photos.)  Part of that committed financing, according to the Times Herald-Record, would come, not surprisingly, from the Genting-affiliated Kien Huat Realty.  However, there is a catch. 
But that $1 billion figure would be considerably less if there's an Orange County casino. That reflects the much-publicized concerns of Sullivan and Ulster projects that an Orange casino would slash their business because of its proximity to New York City. [Times Herald-Record, limited free access per month]
Other developers piled on with the extra enticements.  Mohegan Sun and Louis Cappelli, proposing a casino on another part of the Concord property, promises to renovate the old Grossinger's resort and golf course, and to redevelop three acres in downtown Monticello.  Cordish/Penn National would start a program to "attract new or existing out-of-state manufacturing, computer science, and research businesses to the Hudson Valley-Catskills Region."  Caesars would invest $10 million in the community, including "two all-weather turf fields."  It goes on and on.  As if these companies could really genuinely care one iota about these communities or about anything other than their bottom line.


Anonymous said...

Amsterdam NY just announced that they are cancelling their 'casino' parade today - due to (hot) weather.

Figless said...

Wonder if there are problems like this at racetracks? Excluding "racinos" of course.