The New York State Gaming Commission has announced its selections to the Gaming Facility Location Board.
The new panel is responsible for establishing three new New York casinos in the state.
In a shortened meeting on Monday, NYSGC announced its board picks alongside a website dedicated to the board’s work.
The newly appointed members, Quenia A. Abreu, Vicki L. Been and Stuart Rabinowitz, will select up to three applicants for licensure in New York.
Those chosen for board positions must reside in New York and have considerable financial experience.
On the flip side, eligible candidates could not hold elected office or have “close” relationships with individuals with a gaming license. Additionally, members may not hold financial interest or ownership of any gaming activities, among other conflicts.
Who’s who of the NY Gaming Facility Location Board
Quenia A. Abreu
Quenia A. Abreu is the president and chief executive officer of the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The 2000-strong not-for-profit works toward the economic empowerment of women and minorities.
Dominican-born but raised in New York City, Abreu has deep professional and business development experience with women and minorities. Before the Chamber, she was the director at the Queens Economic Development Corporation and the Hunts Point Economic Development Women’s Business Center.
Before working in economic development, Abreu worked her way up at Columbia University to associate director of recruiting and placement.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and International Trade from the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Additionally, Abreu graduated from the Executive Education Programs at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Vicki L. Been
Vicki L. Been is the Boxer Family Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and an affiliated professor of public policy at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Been also acts as Faculty Director of NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
Professor Been returned to NYU after serving as commissioner of housing preservation and development for the city of New York and deputy mayor for housing and economic development.
Part of NYU’s faculty since 1990, Been’s expertise is in the intersection of land use, urban policy and housing.
The professor’s research includes New York City’s land use patterns, inclusionary zoning, community benefit agreements, land use practices and historic preservation. She also studied affordable housing and land use policies like gentrification, mortgage foreclosure, racial and economic integration, and the impacts of supportive housing developments on their communities.
Been also covers environmental justice, the Fifth Amendment prohibition against taking property without just compensation, and international protections for property owners. She is the co-author of a leading land use casebook, Land Use Controls.
Stuart Rabinowitz is the only current member who previously served on the New York Gaming Facility Location Board (from 2014-15).
Rabinowiz became the eighth president of Hofstra University in December 2000. Before becoming president, he served as dean of the Hofstra University School of Law from September 1989 through June 2001. He first joined the law school faculty in 1972.
President Rabinowitz has held various positions in government and community organizations. He currently serves on the Long Island Association board and is co-vice chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. Rabinowiz was also a trustee of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. Additionally, he’s held positions on numerous boards, commissions and councils, including the Nassau County Blue Ribbon Financial Review Panel.
Rabinowitz earned a juris doctor, magna cum laude, from Columbia University School of Law. At Columbia, he was on the editorial board at the Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
What will the New York Gaming Facility Location Board do?
The objective of the Gaming Facility Location Board is to choose up to three casino applicants, and the task is quite involved.
Not only will the board need to issue a Request For Applications, but it will also assist the gaming commission in prescribing the information required in the RFA responses.
Additionally, the panel will:
- Develop criteria, in addition to existing laws, to assess which applications offer the best value to the state, zone and region
- Determine the licensing fee
- Determine (with the Commission) the sources and total amount of an applicant’s proposed capitalization to develop, construct, maintain and operate a proposed gaming facility
- Have the authority to conduct investigative hearings concerning the conduct of gaming and gaming operations
- Issue detailed findings of facts and conclusions supporting its decisions to select applicants for licensure
- Report annually to the Governor and Legislature
- Create awareness of rules and regulations
- Administer oaths and examine witnesses
- Review the criminal and background history of those applying for a gaming facility license.
Timeline and evaluation criteria for New York’s new casinos
Previously, the New York State Gaming Commission said it expected to name a six-member facility location board by October 6. While the three members fell short of the six predicted, the announcement came a few days earlier than expected.
From here, the board will issue its request for applications. According to the NYSGC, the RFA call will go out early in January 2023.
Once applications are received, the board can only begin reviewing applications if applicants meet the following criteria:
- Prove they have public support with the approval of the applicable Community Advisory Committee
- Prove compliance and approval with all State and local zoning requirements
- Pay a $1 million application fee
From there, the Gaming Facility Location Board will assess and analyze the revenue impact of each applicant’s proposed facility on existing (and alternatively proposed) facilities.
Areas of assessment will include economic activity and business development (70%), local impact (10%), workforce enhancement (10%), and diversity framework (10%).
Once the board makes the selection, presumably sometime in early-to-mid 2023, the Commission may decide to issue licenses.
However, before the license is issued, the board must ensure selected applicant(s) meet the established licensure criteria. They also have to have completed the State Environmental Quality Review process.
Following licensure, the operators will receive an operating certificate from the Commission when ready to open.