The inclusion of the downstate casino licenses in this year’s budget is a win for New York State and the local communities where these licenses will go. By allowing three casinos in the downstate region to operate with full licenses, it will create thousands of jobs when considering construction and credible post-construction union jobs. It also means additional revenue for the state, estimated at an initial $1.5 billion from the three license fees, and will allow us to significantly fund important educational and gaming addiction programs.
While this is a nice step forward for New York State, this does not mean our work is done. In fact, our work is just beginning. Following the budget, the legislature must monitor the timely, fair and transparent bidding process for the licenses, and ensure that the siting process is being credibly implemented. I look forward to working with my colleagues, the Gaming Commission and the Hochul Administration on the downstate license issue.