Review of NY casino plans begins; 17 applications filed for up to 4 casino licenses

New York state officials began sifting through 17 competing casino proposals Tuesday, the start of a long evaluation process expected to last until the fall.

Development teams submitted 17 applications for an upstate casino license before the state's deadline for proposals on Monday. Up to four casino licenses will be divided among three regions: the Albany-Saratoga area, the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region and the Catskills and mid-Hudson River Valley.

The state's Gaming Facility Location Board will evaluate the applications based on factors including the proposals' potential economic impact, likely revenues to the state and local communities, the quality of the proposal and the applicants' ability to finance and complete the project. Background checks on bidders will also be performed.

Contenders include local investors and international gambling companies.

The full proposals — likely to include hundreds of pages of renderings, charts and descriptions — will be made public, though certain proprietary information is likely to be withheld.

Each applicant will be required to give the board an oral presentation on their proposal. The presentations will include a question-and-answer session, and could begin later this month.

In addition, the siting board expects to hold public hearings on the proposals in each of the regions set to receive a casino.

A decision on the winning bids is expected this fall. The final awarding of the casino licenses will be done by the state's Gaming Commission.