Seventeen companies on Monday unveiled lavish and increasingly expensive proposals for New York casino-resorts in communities from Albany to Tuxedo Park and Binghamton, officially starting the competition for four state-issued gambling licenses.
The contestants vying to build a Las Vegas-style casino range from virtual unknowns like Greenetrack, which operates a gambling hall and dog track in Alabama, to the more familiar: Hard Rock International, Caesars Entertainment, Penn National Gaming and Genting Group.
With promises of luxury hotels, conference centers, adventure parks and thousands of jobs, as well as slot machines and poker tables, several of the proposals in the region closest to New York City top $1 billion.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has sought to expand gambling with the hope of reviving upstate economies, creating new jobs and generating tax revenues.
It remains to be seen whether the casinos can deliver on all their promises. While the number of gambling operations has been swelling in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, casino revenues are sliding in New Jersey and Connecticut.
But that has not kept developers and gambling operators from spending millions on proposals for New York, where there are already five Indian casinos and nine racetracks with electronic slot machines and table games.
The state plans to select the winners sometime in the fall for three separate regions: the capital region around Albany, the Catskill and Hudson Valley areas, and an area in the central part of the state that stretches from Binghamton north to Lake Ontario.
The heavily detailed applications were due on Monday, at the State Gaming Commission office in Schenectady.
Caesars Entertainment and David Flaum, a developer, loaded 20 copies of their application — 40 boxes weighing a total of 3,000 pounds, for an $880 million casino-resort in Woodbury, in Orange County — onto a truck that left New York City on Monday morning.
Just to be sure, Empire Resorts sent armed guards to escort a tractor-trailer loaded with its 280 cartons outlining their proposal at a site near Monticello on Sunday night. It also sent a backup truck in case anything went wrong. The driver waited for hours in the commission’s parking lot until the office opened at 8 a.m.
But Tom and Jim Wilmot, developers based in Rochester, were first, having delivered their applications for a $425 million casino-resort in the Finger Lakes region on Friday.
The sharpest competition is in the Catskill-Hudson Valley region close to New York City, where eight developer-operators are vying for what they hope will be two casino licenses.
Three contestants have spent years developing plans for a casino-resort in the Catskills. Empire Resorts and its partner, EPR Properties, have proposed a $1 billion project near Monticello that includes a casino, 1,100 hotel rooms, an 18-hole golf course, an indoor water park and an adventure village.
Next door, Louis Cappelli, a developer, and the Mohegan Tribal Authority are proposing a $550 million casino-resort, which, like Empire Resorts’s project, would lie on the grounds of the former Concord resort.
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In nearby Ellenville, in Ulster County, Claremont Partners is planning a $582 million resort, with nightclubs, restaurants and an 18-hole golf course, on the grounds of the former Nevele resort.
But these proposals have been overshadowed by the recent emergence of six rival proposals in Orange County, which is even closer to Manhattan and its rich storehouse of tourists.
Cordish Companies and Penn National Gaming are proposing a $750 million Live! Hotel and Casino in South Blooming Grove with all the usual features. The proposal includes what the proponents call an “Angel incubator,” a nonprofit organization designed to attract manufacturing, computer science and research businesses from out of state.
Genting, the giant Malaysian gambling and entertainment company, submitted two separate casino proposals for Tuxedo and Montgomery. Genting owns a slot parlor at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, and is related to Empire Resorts.
Saratoga Harness Racing and Rush Street Gaming proposed a $670 million project on 70 acres in Newburgh.
Greenetrack filed plans for Grand Hudson Casino and Resort on 140 acres next to Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, in partnership with Full House Resorts.
There are five other developers seeking to build a casino resort in the capital region, including one by the Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming on the Mohawk River in Schenectady and a $300 million casino proposal at Howe Caverns. Mr. Flaum and the Chickasaw tribe of Oklahoma submitted an application for a project in Rensselaer, while Saratoga Harness Racing and Churchill Downs Inc. proposed a casino resort in East Greenbush.
In the most sparsely populated region in central New York, there are three contestants.