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October 21, 2014
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Cuomo signs Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act

Governor Andrew Cuomo


The Gaming Commission is authorized to investigate the suitability of the gaming license applicant, including character and financial stability, and sets criteria for licensing individuals and businesses employed by or doing business with the resort. Destination gaming resorts and all related service industries will be strictly and comprehensively regulated by the Gaming Commission. The minimum gambling age in destination gaming resorts will be 21, and no smoking will be authorized in the four destination gaming resorts.

All Localities Benefiting from Education Aid Increases
: 10 percent of the State’s tax revenues will be split equally between the host municipality and the host county. 10 percent of the State’s tax revenues will go to other counties in the region of the destination gaming resort to provide tax relief or educational assistance. 80 percent of the State’s tax revenues will be used statewide for elementary and secondary education or property tax relief. The educational aid will be additive and will not be part of the State’s existing education formulae. If the gaming referendum passes, 10 percent of the net gaming revenue retained by the State from Indian gaming facilities will be distributed to counties in each respective exclusivity zone that do not otherwise receive a share of exclusivity revenues.

Addressing Problem Gambling and Cheating
: Funds for problem gambling will be added through the imposition of a $500 annual fee on all slot machines and table games. Destination gaming resorts will be required to develop comprehensive problem gambling programs, and part of the decision for siting a destination gaming resort will be determined by the quality of the applicant’s problem gambling program. All destination gaming resorts will be required to have exclusion policies, and the new law provides for individuals to exclude themselves from the destination gaming resorts. New categories of gaming specific crimes are included to prevent cheating at destination gaming resorts. Cyber sweepstakes cafes are specifically made criminal.

Preventing Corruption: A state gaming inspector general’s position is authorized to prevent corruption at the Gaming Commission.

Agreements with Indian Gaming
: The exclusivity of Indian gaming zones is affirmed.