Orange County could lose out on New York’s first casino wave

New York state mapDespite being considered the most desirable location in New York to build a casino, Orange County isn’t expected to be in serious contention to receive one of the four casino licenses that are expected to be given out later this year.

The New York Post is reporting that state governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t see the urgency in building a casino in Orange County, which is a mere hour’s drive away from New York City. Instead, Cuomo is stressing the importance of giving these first batch of licenses to the Catskills and Hudson Valley areas. These upstate regions are in more desperate need of an economic boost, and as such, should be given what is tantamount to preferential treatment.

Cuomo technically doesn’t have a say on who gets to pick the license winners later this year, but he does have an influential voice on any decision made by the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board.

Should he get what he’s looking for, it’s going to a be a serious setback for five of the 22 groups that are set to make formal bids to win a casino license for Orange County. The area is without question the most appealing location for these future casinos due to its proximity to the big city.

But for now, the governor wants to give harder-hit areas first crack at these casino licenses. Only then will Orange County, with its $70 million license fees – the highest among all the regions in New York – finally be considered.