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Casino applications up for review

Saturday, August 02, 2014 - Updated: 4:09 AM

By NICOLE ANTONUCCI

nicole.antonucci@recordernews.com

Florida Acquisition Corp may submit additional information to its application for a proposed casino off Thruway Exit 27, which is now available for public review on the state Gaming Commission website.

The application was originally submitted on June 30 with large sections of the document missing details or for the most part, incomplete, according to the document released Friday by the state Gaming Facility Location Board.

Incomplete sections of the application are defined by the following statement, "Florida Acquisition Corp., and Clairvest Group Inc. and Great Canadian Gaming Corp. will complete this section of the RFA within 60 days of the date at which the New York Gaming Facility Location Board of the New York State Gaming Commission agree with the applicant on the solution for the challenge of the License Fee as noted in the Executive Summary."

Even though the deadline has come and gone, applicants do have the opportunity to submit additional details to their application, according to the guidelines on the website.

The developer's investment banker, Peter Marcil said it was one of the reasons why they had asked for a 60-day extension prior to submitting the application.

When the state denied the request along with a request to defer half of the $50 million licensing fee, Clairvest Group Inc. had considered not submitting an application.

"County and city officials were encouraged [by the state] to ask us to submit an application anyway, which we did," Marcil said. "We have continued to work diligently on this."

Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said the development team has been working with the economic development office and the gaming commission regarding the portions that are incomplete.

"We are here to assist any way we can," Ossenfort said. "But we have to let the process play out and hope for the best."

In the executive summary of the application, the developer makes reference to their previous request and mentions that it is working with Montgomery County to find a savings to offset the cost of the $50 million licensing fee. Once a solution is found, Clairvest expects to add to its application to be fully compliant within the next 60 days.

Marcil could not state when the rest of the application would be submitted.

Ossenfort said a casino in the county may be a long shot but he said he still thinks that it is "by far the best site that best fits the intent of the legislation that the voters passed last November."

While the application is proposing to provide an economic boost to the area, Ossenfort said there are other development opportunities coming down the pipeline that would benefit the county.

"We didn't put all of the county's economic development eggs in the casino basket," he said. "We are working on other things and other priorities that need to get done regardless of whether the casino comes here or not."

Clairvest Group Inc. and Great Canadian Gaming Corp. are partnering together to build a proposed $250 million project on a 512-acre parcel straddling the town of Florida and the city of Amsterdam off Thruway Exit 27.

The project currently includes a casino, 100-room hotel, 140-seat restaurant, 300-seat buffet, 150-seat food court, 200-seat live entertainment facility and 3,000 square feet of meeting space. There will also be 300 residential units and two golf courses on the site along with a day space, business center, fitness facility and a farmers market.

In addition to Florida Acquisition Group, the public may view each of the 16 other applications that were submitted by developers seeking to operate a gaming facility in the state.

In the Capital Region, five applicants are vying for one of four gaming licenses that will be awarded by the board in the fall. Public hearings on the applications are scheduled to begin after Labor Day.

     

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