New York casino launch progressing as facility location board unveiled

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New York casinos are one step closer to opening in the city region, after the New York Gaming Commission made appointments to a Gaming Facility Location Board

Introduced to select up to three casino sites in the city area for licensure, the board has a series of powers, including issuing an RFA, developing the criteria to best assess applicants, overseeing investigative hearings concerning the conduct of gaming and gaming operations, setting the license fee price and promulgating all rules and regulations.

Setting out the criteria for board members, the commission outlined three key ‘must-haves’ for appointees: they must reside in New York state, have at least 10 years of experience in fiscal matters, and have significant expertise in accounting, finance, economics, commercial real estate and/or as an executive for a large organization.

The first appointee is Quenia A. Abreu, President and CEO of the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to empowering and fostering the economic development of women and minorities.

Sitting on the board with Abreu will be Vicki L Been, Boxer Family Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Faculty Director of NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

Bean focuses on real estate, having conducted ‘extensive research’ on a variety of matters in NYC’s land use patterns, inclusionary zoning, historic preservation and the interplay of community benefits agreements with land use practices.

The final member of the initial appointments is Stuart Rabinowitz, Senior Counsel to Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP. Rabinowitz previously served on the New York Gaming Facility Location Board in 2014-15 and boasts over five decades of experience in federal law matters in academia at Hofstra University.

Despite the board’s unveiling, there are no imminent plans to announce any licensees just yet, with the New York State government noting that ‘no determinations or licenses are expected to be issued until sometime in 2023 at the earliest’.

The board, before awarding any licenses, must be satisfied with several key details, including that each applicant must successfully navigate the local approval and zoning processes.