Casino developers to submit application

AMSTERDAM – The developers of a proposed casino in Montgomery County will move forward with their application to the state, despite the state denying the developers’ request to change the application requirements.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said today the developers will apply for the right to build the casino near Thruway exit 27 on land in the town of Florida and city of Amsterdam.

The developers sought changes in the application process, including a reduction of the licensing fee from $50 million to $25 million.

The developers last week said the changes were necessary for them to pursue the project.

The developers could not be reached for comment, but Ossenfort said the developers may have been influenced to move forward in part by the large amount of local support.

The $250 million casino resort plan would include slot machines, gaming tables, a hotel, villas and golf courses in three phases of development. The project would create 453 temporary construction jobs and 850 permanent casino jobs, the developers say.

Montgomery County officials sent a letter Thursday to the state gaming commission that requested changes to the application process.

In a Friday email, state Gaming Facility Location Board spokesman Lee Park said, “The requirements spelled out in the Request for Applications establish a level playing field for all potential applicants, including the proposed project in Amsterdam. It is simply not feasible or fair to alter any provision of the RFA or make concessions at the request of a bidder. To do so would create an unfair bidding process for every other potential bidder and invalidate the RFA.”

Ossenfort said he was unsure whether the $1 million application fee would go back to the developers if they are not chosen.

The application deadline is June 30. The state plans to choose four casino sites in upstate New York.

Ossenfort said he’s pleased the county is still in the running for a casino.