Southern Tier Casino: Capital investment set

By Brandi Bailey

May 13, 2014 Updated May 13, 2014 at 2:42 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A dollar amount has been set for what casino bidders must commit to spending if the projects are approved.

The New York State Gaming Facility Location Board released the minimum capital investment for each upstate region.

The owners of potential Southern Tier casinos must spend at least $85 million on new construction just to be considered for a gaming license.

Both Tioga Downs Racino and Traditions at the Glen, two of the Southern Tier bidders, are satisfied with the announcement.

"I think they did the right thing not only in my region but across the state. I think it will encourage them to get a lot of bids and then they can sort through the bids and see what the market determines as the best bidder," Tioga Downs Racino owner Jeff Gural said.

The dollar amount was determined by population, market and the economy.

Both Traditions and Tioga Downs say at least $150-million will be spent.

Traditions released a statement saying, "We feel to have the quality, it's necessary to spend that much."

The $85- million do not include excluded investments.

"Highway work is about half a million that we have to do. We have to widen one of the exits off 17 and it doesn't include the acquisition of the land and legal fees and things like that," Gural said.

Also, the actual licensing fee is set at $35-million.

"We have no worries at all. We have no problem meeting or exceeding that number," Bill Walsh with Traditions at the Glen said.

Public hearings will start the Monday after Labor Day in each region. The hearings are set to determine what the public feels would be the best bidder for the region.

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