Amsterdam casino bid disqualified

Posted at: 08/07/2014 5:50 PM
Updated at: 08/07/2014 8:59 PM
By: WNYT Staff

AMSTERDAM -- The Amsterdam casino bid was disqualified on Thursday evening. The NYS Gaming Commission unanimously voted to disqualify the proposal of the Florida Acquisition Group.

Earlier in the day, news that the plan for the Las Vegas style casino in the town of Florida may be disqualified came as a surprise to Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort.

"It was a little surprising because in all the correspondence that went from the development team to the Gaming Commission, there wasn't a response. And I wasn't notified that it was going to be on the agenda," Ossenfort said.

The agenda for the Gaming Commission meeting in Manhattan noted incomplete responses in the application process and incomplete physical filings of materials from the developer Florida Acquisition Corporation. Ossenfort said the planners and developers have been very open about some of the economic challenges they faced, including problems with getting the minimum capital investment required and the licensing fee. They requested a 60 day extension on the application process and a deferral on the fee.

"I think we've been very fair and realistic with the residents of Montgomery County about some of the potential challenges we face with this project," Ossenfort said.

Ossenfort said the challenges the county face may be the reason for the possible disqualification. He said the casinos were meant to help communities who really need some economic activity and Montgomery County certainly needs it.

"I think more importantly, it would be boost to the morale that things are happening here, I think people are hoping that the state takes notice of this area," he said.

Now dreams of that game changing project for the county may be fading away and the more than 500 acre lot overlooking the city of Amsterdam may remain vacant.

"We're a resilient people here in Montgomery County. If this isn't the project for us, we're going to keep moving and try to find something else for that site," Ossenfort said.