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NYC Governor Tries to Ease Casino Development Rules

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New York City's mayor, Eric Adams, and his administration have presented a proposition that entails altering the city's zoning regulations. If approved, it will more easily permit the establishment of casinos in more expansive urban regions, with relaxed limitations on their physical layout.

Cutting Through the Red Tape

This proposal comes amid intense competition for one of the three highly coveted casino licenses in New York City. The gaming venues could be established within any industrious area across various commercial districts, excluding those labeled low-income business districts.

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The size of these casinos would remain unregulated under the revised zoning plan. In addition, the plan enables developers to seamlessly integrate complementary features alongside venues' identities, encompassing hotels, restaurants, bars and exhibition spaces.

Authorities argue that implementing highly debatable alterations to zoning regulations is imperative in order to guarantee an equitable procedure for individuals intending to attain a license to conduct a casino establishment within the boundaries of New York City. In particular, these officials maintain that this zoning revision will significantly enhance the city's appeal as a potential licensing destination when compared to neighboring regions. The current zoning code does not permit the presence of casinos within the city.

According to Dan Garodnick, the head of the Department of City Planning and the City Planning Commission, it's crucial for New York City applicants to have an equal chance to compete in the gambling plans being considered for the Upstate. He believes that by implementing this text amendment, the city can prevent the duplication of the rigorous state licensing process and instead establish a fair and rational procedure specific to the local area.

A Long Road Ahead

Currently, zoning proposals in New York City must go through an extensive approval process. This includes a review by the city's land use committee, followed by approval from community boards and borough presidents. Then, the proposal needs approval by the City Planning Commission, the City Council and, finally, the mayor.

Should the zoning amendment be approved, which is subject to a drawn-out process itself, the casino projects ultimately chosen would not have to be submitted to the approval requirements. The implementation of the zoning modification will eliminate the requirement for licensed projects to undergo the lengthy, convoluted and costly process.

Prior to being chosen by the state Gaming Commission, proposals are obliged to obtain a two-thirds endorsement from a community advisory committee. This is composed of individuals representing the governor, mayor, a local state Assembly member, a state Senator and a member of the City Council.

Only the three licenses being reviewed currently would be impacted by the zoning change. Any future approvals will not be subjected to it.

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