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Casino application could be disqualified

Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - Updated: 5:51 AM


Florida Acquisition Corp. could be disqualified from the running for developing a casino in Montgomery County due to the submission of an incomplete application. 

The gaming Facility Location Board will discuss disqualifying the application at its monthly meeting in New York City on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The agenda packet, available on the state Gaming Commission's website, includes a memo to the board, citing sections of the developer’s previous request for a $25 million deferment to the $50 million licensing fee and also a 60-day extension to the deadline. 

The memo states the state had declined the request by stating, “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.” 

It also points out that although the developers Clairvest Group and Great Canadian Gaming did submit the application on time, the application references how the developers are working on a $25 million savings to offset the cost of the licensing fee. 

The memo also  specifically addresses the incomplete application under a heading that reads “Incomplete Physical Filing”. Mainly, the memo points out Florida Acquisition Corp. failed to submit the required number of copies for different documents that were required in the application. 

For example 20 hard copies of the application and its attachments were supposed to be submitted along with 10 electronic copies but only two copies of each were received. In addition, Florida Acquisition Corp. failed to submit financial statements and background information forms. 

In addition, the RFA required each Applicant and its respective related parties to submit with its application a variety of materials necessary for the conduct of an applicant background, which Florida Acquisiition Group failed to do, according to the memo.

 Those sections that were not addressed by the developer are defined in the memo with the following statement, “The submitted application was nonresponse to this requirement.”

Details of the application were made public last week, approximately one month after the applications were submitted on June 30. 

Incomplete sections of the application by the developer were 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."

Clairvest Group Inc.’s investment banker Peter Marcil declined to comment on the upcoming meeting but previously had said the development team had been encouraged to submit an application, although it was incomplete.

Montgomery County Economic Development and Planning Department Director Ken Rose said he was disappointed about the potential disqualification, because Clairvest Group Inc. had been working behind the scenes to complete the application and were at a point where the licensing fee would not have been an issue. 

“Numerous calls and e-mails have been sent to the commission explaining the situation but were unanswered,” Rose said. “In the end we have to respect the commission's decision and hopefully at some point the state of New York will look less at the capital district region and look at us out here and start investing in the Montgomery and Fulton County region with projects that create jobs.”


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