State Accepts Tioga Casino Proposal


On Wednesday, October 14, the New York Gaming Facility Location Board announced that it has unanimously recommended Tioga Downs to apply for a commercial casino license.

Jeff Gural, horsepeople in New York State, and fans of harness racing were devastated last December when the location board did not select Tioga Downs’ proposal/application to land the state’s ‘Southern Tier’ casino license. The board eventually re-opened the process for the Southern Tier licence, which ultimately led to the location board’s Wednesday decision.

In its decision, which can be read in full by clicking here, the location board stated that Tioga’s new application was “improved considerably from the one that the Tioga Applicant submitted in 2014 in response to the first gaming facility RFA. In contrast to the 2014 unsuccessful application, this Tioga Application commits substantially more equity to the project and decreases debt, which significantly improves the financial stability of the proposal.”

Tioga Downs Racetrack, LLC proposes to further develop the Tioga Downs harness racetrack and current video lottery gaming facility in the Town of Nichols, expanding the facility and converting the gaming facility to a casino facility. Tioga’s facility would include a 32,590-square-foot casino with 1,000 slot machines and 50 gaming tables, 161 hotel rooms, multiple restaurants and lounges, an event centre and expansion to include the existing Tioga Country Club.

“Many members of the community were instrumental in demonstrating to the State that awarding a license to Tioga Downs would positively impact our region,” Gural said via release. “I would like to personally thank the selection committee, Governor Cuomo and the many municipalities and community leaders who made this licence for Tioga Downs a reality. In addition, we appreciate every single person who wrote a letter, sent an email or spoke in favour of a full gaming license for Tioga Downs at the public hearing. Your showing of support made all the difference in allowing us to move forward and begin transforming Tioga Downs into a full gaming resort.”

A groundbreaking ceremony and news conference are in the process of being confirmed and scheduled for later this month.

Once complete, Tioga Downs will be transformed into a $195-million regional entertainment destination. The expansion will also represent a significant investment in the local workforce in the form of 840 new direct and indirect jobs and $145 million of spending for the State of New York. Always committed to investing in the community, the expansion will allow Tioga Downs to further assist small businesses and charitable causes.

Meanwhile, to thank the community for its support, Tioga Downs will be offering its dinner buffet for free to all guests tonight (October 14), which begins at 4 p.m.

“It’s just one small way of saying thanks for believing in us and allowing us to move forward with this exciting new chapter at Tioga Downs,” said Gural.

(With files from Tioga Downs and the New York Gaming Facility Location Board)

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