New York opens bidding for Southern Tier casino; Stockton University’s plan to turn Showboat into campus in trouble

TAGs: Atlantic City, New York, new york gaming commission, Richard Stockton College, Showboat casino

New York opens bidding for Southern Tier casino; Stockton University's plan to turn Showboat into campus in troubleThe New York Gaming Commission has opened bidding to any operator looking to score a casino license in the Southern Tier.

Applications are due in July but so far only Tioga Downs, a harness racing track and electronic gambling facility based in Nichols, New York, has announced plans to bid for the license.

Tioga Downs lost out on the first three casino licenses given out by the commission but was undaunted by the rejection. According to owner Jee Gural, the company has worked hard trying to improve its application.

Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David told the Bellingham Herald that there’s some “interest” in pursuing a casino license in his town, although he’s unsure a second bidder will enter the fray.

Over in Atlantic City, Stockton University’s plan to turn the shuttered Showboat casino into one to its satellite campuses is now in jeopardy after the owners of its next-door neighbor, the Trump Taj Mahal, exercised a little-known 1988 legal covenant between Trump Entertainment Resorts and Showboat’s former owner, Caesars Entertainment.

Apparently, a clause in the covenant states that the Showboat casino must “always be used as a first-class casino resort,” and not for any other purpose like, say, a college campus.

Stockton University is understandably crying foul over Trump Entertainment’s decision to enforce the covenant. College president Herman Saatkamp believed that an agreement had been made between Trump Entertainment and Caesars to lift the covenant to make way for the school’s purchase of the casino. Turns out, that wasn’t the case and unless the school decides to open a casino in the property, it’s left with nothing more than, well, a property.

Even if Stockton had lawyers to take the issue to courts, time and resources are more important to the university.

“Simply stated, we would be saddled with an all cash outlay with no revenues in return,” Saatkamp told the Associated Press. “It would be unconscionable to submit Stockton University’s financial stability to this risk and delay. Doing so endangers the cost of student tuition and creates the potential for job loss among faculty and staff. We cannot afford to just hold this building with no incoming revenues while the two casinos play their own gamesmanship.”


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