By Tom Precious
ALBANY - The state Gaming Commission this evening issued the long-awaited Request for Application documents that sets out the terms for developers who are interested in operating the four commercial casinos the Cuomo administration is set to award later this year.
The agency said application documents will be due June 30. Besides paying a $1 million application fee, developers must, if selected, pay a minimum franchise fee to the state of between $20 million and $70 million, depending on which county is being sought for a casino license.
The 81-page Request for Application, accompanied by a separate, 52-page casino license application document, seeks an enormous amount of information from would-be developers, including kinds and numbers of gambling devices or games, individuals with direct or indirect ties to the bidder, the financial health of bidders and their partners and studies showing everything from number of potential jobs to be created to financial impact on the state's finances. Developers must also show local community support for a casino, though that provision was left somewhat vague in a state casino siting law enacted last year.
Voters in November approved seven new casinos. The first round - up to four casinos - is limited to three areas: Albany/Saratoga Springs region, Catskills/Mid-Hudson Valley and the southern tier near Binghamton running to a narrow area east of Rochester. Ares with existing Indian-owned casinos, such as Western New York, are prohibited from having any of the new commercial casinos.
More about the bidding documents and process can be found here.
UPDATE: Regarding the definition of local support, the RFA states: "As a condition of filing an Application, each Applicant must submit to the Board a resolution passed by the local legislative body of its Host Municipality supporting the Application. For purposes of this requirement, local support means a post -‐ November 5, 2013 resolution passed by the local legislative body of the Host Municipality supporting the Application.''