Saturday, December 06, 2014

Casino announcement expected Dec. 17 

A decision on whether casinos will land in Orange County is expected on Wednesday, Dec. 17, when the Gaming Facility Location Board is tentatively scheduled to meet.

Based on a law passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, up to two casinos could be built in a region spanning Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties.

There are nine separate proposals for casino in the region, including six in Orange County.

Casinos have been proposed in South Blooming Grove, Ellenville, Kiamesha Lake, Montgomery, Newburgh, New Windsor, Tuxedo and Woodbury.

Genting in Tuxedo

A public hearing on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed casino in Tuxedo has been scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Tuxedo High School. The Tuxedo casino has faced opposition from environmental groups and the Palisades Park Commission due to its location adjacent to the Sterling Forest State Park.

A lawsuit filed against the town of Tuxedo over its handling of a casino proposed by Genting, the Malaysian-based gaming company, was dismissed by state Supreme Court Judge John Colangelo in Goshen. The lawsuit contended that the town approved a new zoning district for the casino without going through an environmental review of the casino project.

In his decision, Colangelo found that a lawsuit seeking damages could not be filed until after a casino had been awarded a special permit by the town.

"Unless and until the town board makes a final determination with respect to a special use permit," Colangelo wrote, "there is no final agency determination to challenge, and unless approved, petitioner's injuries remain speculative at best."

Lawsuits have also been filed by the village of Kiryas Joel against the village of South Blooming Grove, village and town of Woodbury over allegations that the municipalities promised sewer capacity to casino operators and pledged support for projects which had not undergone any environmental reviews. The suits also contended that the support was given in exchange for millions of dollars of compensation the operators promised to the municipalities.

Other casinos could be located in the Albany region and Binghamton area. After seven years, additional casinos could be proposed in New York City.


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