An earlier application from Tioga Downs was rejected previous year by a state board tasked with picking operators and locations for up to four available casino licenses.
According to city of Binghamton Deputy Mayor Jared Kraham, Albany-area businessman Jeffrey Hyman informed city officials Sunday that he is dropping his proposal to build a casino in Binghamton. Last week, the City Council unanimously approved the proposed project. Hyman considered developing a casino at the old Stow Manufacturing site. The state Department of Environmental Conservation published new Environmental Zone maps last week, which showed part of the site was not zoned for more lucrative brownfield cleanup tax credits.
Bidding for a fourth license in the Southern Tier was reopened when local leaders complained their region had been left out.
That potentially leaves Tioga Downs as the only applicant. From the beginning, we have been focused on improving our second RFA submission for the license and we’re confident that our project is the right choice for the Southern Tier.
“We had the equity all lined up, and to have that change on a dime really changed the economics in such a way that you can understand why somebody faced with the prospect of investing a lot of money had legitimate concerns”, Hyman said. A full casino license would allow the site to expand to host poker, blackjack and other table games. “We look forward to bringing much needed revenue, jobs and assistance to the region through the successful award of a full gaming license”.
The application from Tioga Downs is not an automatic win: The board will spend the next several months evaluating the boxes of documents submitted Thursday by the Nichols racino.
But the state Gaming Facilities Location Board opted for the Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, Seneca County, over two proposals in the Southern Tier, including Gural’s Tioga Downs bid.
In March, the Gaming Commission announced it would accept another round of applications for a fourth license. The final decision on which applicants will be granted licenses now rests with the Gaming Commission, which is expected to act by this fall, with casinos opening by 2017.