Caesar’s is looking to add to its 53 land based casinos and has applied for a license to build a $750 million casino and entertainment complex in New York State, 50 miles north of Manhattan. There are four licenses available, each with a cost of $1 million and the aim is to revive the upstate economy by introducing new casinos that will hopefully give the area a boost. The Caesar’s proposal is to build on a 120 acre plot near the town of Woodbury and would include shops, restaurants and an entertainment hall providing much needed jobs in the area. Jan Jones Blackhurst of Caesar’s stated that, “It’ll be an integrated resort, It’s all about creating an entertainment venue where gaming is a piece but not the only piece.”
Caesar’s are not the only company interested in obtaining one of the licenses however and it’s all far from being a done deal with 16 different parties all expected to file an application. There are three regions of New York State where casinos will be allowed, those being the Hudson Valley, Catskills and an area near Binghamton, however it’s the Catskills area that is being fought over. It’s been a difficult task selling the idea of upstate casinos to the large gambling companies of Las Vegas as they all wish to be where the money is and that’s downstate. There will of course be a little opposition to the casinos and the fear is that a casino in Orange County would mean declining revenues for those racetracks and slots parlors in Sullivan County and Yonkers. The applicants wishing to build the casinos must prove to the new Gaming Commission that they have local support and that they can construct and get their casino doors open by 2016.