New York panel recommends 3 upstate casinos in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca counties

Industries Associated Press

A panel has selected Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca counties as sites for casinos in upstate New York, deciding not to recommend a fourth.

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The Gaming Facility Location Board's announcement Wednesday brings to an end a fierce competition among 16 developers and job-hungry communities for four casino licenses.

With its proximity to New York City, the Catskills and mid-Hudson Valley attracted the most interest, with nine bidders.

Voters last year authorized up to four casinos to be divided among three upstate regions: the Albany-Saratoga area, the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region and the Catskills and mid-Hudson Valley.

The board's decision isn't the final step. Background checks and environmental reviews will be completed, and the licenses must be formally awarded by the state's Gaming Commission.