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Caesars to bid on one of four New York gaming licenses

Caesars Entertainment Corp. will bid on one of four gaming licenses available in New York with the hopes of building a $750 million hotel-casino complex 50 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.

Caesars Senior Vice President Jan Jones Blackhurst confirmed Tuesday the casino giant submitted a $1 million application fee that is due by today.

The development is planned for a 120-acre parcel in Orange County, N.Y., one of the destinations designated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that is viewed as helping revive the economy in upstate New York.

Blackhurst said the development, which would include a hotel and casino with restaurants, retail amenities and an entertainment complex, would enhance the company’s current East Coast operations, which include four casinos in Atlantic City and a racetrack casino near Philadelphia.

“This project would allow use to draw from the entire East Coast,” Blackhurst said. “We have a strong East Coast customer base.”

Caesars would lease the site from a New York real estate developer. The land is near a major train station and is a short distance from an outlet shopping center that attracts 11 million visitors a year.

Blackhurst said the site has several highway and public transit connections to New York City, where millions of potential customers are located. She said the casino would also draw customers from Connecticut and other Eastern states.

Caesars interest in New York comes nearly six months after the company withdrew from the bidding process for Massachusetts gaming license.

According to The New York Times, Caesars is one of at least four companies vying for a casino license in Orange County. As many as 15 groups are expected to compete for the four licenses available north of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

Cuomo’s interest in gaming was viewed as a way to create jobs, economic development and tax revenue.

According to the Times, Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming all hired New York consultants to explore the idea.

Only Caesars was interested in an upstate casino.

New York is on a fast track for the casino process. Hearings on the applications are expected to take place this summer with the four licenses awarded by the end of the year.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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