01/14/2015 10:14AM

New York to reopen bidding for casino in Southern Tier


New York’s Gaming Facility Location Board said late Tuesday it would comply with a request from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reopen bidding for a casino site in the so-called “Southern Tier,” an area near the state’s border with Pennsylvania.

The board said it would accept new applications from companies seeking the casino license, a roster that likely will include Jeff Gural, who owns Tioga Downs in the region and the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Gural, who contributed almost $1 million to the effort to pass a state constitutional amendment authorizing new casinos, was highly critical of the board’s recent decision to pass over his bid for a casino license at his track, which already operates a slot-machine parlor.

In December, the board authorized three sites for new casinos, including one in Seneca County, near Finger Lakes racetrack, that was part of the Southern Tier. The board had the option to choose four sites within three tiers, but it passed over designating a fourth location, citing the number of casinos already in the market.

Cuomo sent a letter to the board this year asking the panel to reopen the bidding. Panel members voted unanimously during a meeting Tuesday night to comply with Cuomo’s request, though panel members also said the vote does not guarantee that a new site will be approved.