Casino siting board may consider more applications for Southern Tier

New York’s casino siting board will hold a meeting in Manhattan on January 13 to discuss reopening the bidding process to new applicants for a casino license in the Southern Tier region.

Governor Cuomo earlier requested that the siting board reopen the process for proposals for a casino license in what the Governor described as “the true Southern Tier,” meaning the part of the state adjacent to the Pennsylvania border.

In the statement sent Friday, Gaming Commission chairman Mark Gearan said that helping the Southern Tier met the intent of the state law in allowing casinos in the first place.

“The intent of the gaming statute was to benefit economically distressed Upstate areas experiencing high levels of unemployment. Clearly, the Southern Tier meets this criterion. A process to generate new proposals focused on the Southern Tier may create an additional opportunity to identify an appropriately structured and capitalized gaming facility that could bring the region important economic development and employment,” Gearan said.

Both Gearan and siting board chairman Kevin Law made clear the Board will not consider opening up either the Catskills/Hudson Valley or Capital regions for additional applications. The Board authorized licenses in the Town of Thompson in Sullivan County and in Schenectady County.

The siting board authorized a casino license in the Southern Tier Region in the Seneca County community of Tyre.

Southern Tier businesspeople and elected officials have complained that location, between Syracuse and Rochester, is really part of the Finger Lakes area and will not benefit their region.