New York Gaming Facility Location Board will hear the proposal to turn Tioga Downs Casino & Racing into a full-fledged casino.
The presentation will take place in New York City on September 10, allowing board members to ask questions while community members will be provided with the same opportunity on September 18 at a special public hearing at SUNY Broome in Binghamton.
Tioga Downs, owned by businessman Jeff Gural and his company American Racing and Entertainment, currently features video lottery terminals, which are quite similar to the traditional slot machines. In addition, the venue also offers gambling customers seasonal harness racing events.
If Tioga Downs’ proposal is backed by the state Gaming Facility Location Board, the venue would be able to start offering table games and slot machines. Additional upgrades are also expected to be made to the facility.
The board is expected to submit its recommendation to the New York Gaming Commission by the end of 2015.
The Tioga County gambling property was the lone applicant for the fourth casino license in Upstate New York after the application process was re-opened earlier this year.
Regulators selected casino proposals from the Montreign Resort Casino in the Catskills town of Thompson in Sullivan County; Lago Resort & Casino Finger Lakes town of Tyre in Seneca County and the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor,Schenectady in December.
Choosing the $425 million Lago Resort & Casino proposal over Tioga Downs unleashed waves of complaints from Gural, Nichols officials, and community members. They argued that they had been deprived of their chance to secure the struggling region with a major economic boost. Due to this, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended that regulators take a second look at the possibility of awarding a fourth casino license.
The board re-launched the bidding process for a Southern Tier region casino and Tioga County was the lone applicant, however, the bid doesn’t guarantee that the license will be awarded.