[toc]One of the four commercial casinos in the pipeline for the Empire State said Monday that it has closed financing for its project.
American Racing & Entertainment, owner and operator of the Tioga Downs racino, announced that it has raised $90 million in new senior secured debt facilities.
The group is looking to complete a $134 million expansion of Tioga Downs, which is located in Nichols, New York.
The expansion will convert the racino into a Las Vegas-style casino.
The financing consists of an $80 million loan and a $10 million line of credit.
“Getting this project financed is not only a win for us as a company, but also the Southern Tier community,” said ARE CEO Jeff Gural.
“It will act as an immediate catalyst for economic growth by creating over 550 jobs and attracting more people to the area. Our business is already booming so I am really encouraged to see the Tioga expansion continue to drive visitation and improve the local economy.”
What the NY casino will offer
Tioga Downs, which has some video gaming machines already, received a commercial gaming license in August.
The process for the racino was a tough one, but it should help the property grow. It currently wins about $60 million a year from its machines.
Tioga Downs was rejected for a casino license in late 2014, but Southern Tier officials were able to convince New York to eventually award a fourth license.
The expansion will give the racino:
- A 33,000-square-foot casino
- 1,000 slot machines
- 50 gaming tables
- 161 hotel rooms
- Six restaurants and bars
- A 6,500-square-foot event center
When will Tioga Downs open its casino?
The casino expansion portion was 90 percent complete as of late September, while the hotel and event center construction began last month.
The new casino floor could open as early as December. The second phase of the project is expected to be finished in October 2017.
According to a report from the Democrat & Chronicle, state gaming regulators still need to adopt regulations for gaming tables and slot machines at the new commercial casinos. The new rules could be finalized as early as November.
Earlier this month, the first batch of new slot machines arrived at Tioga Downs.
Tioga Downs could be the first Las Vegas-style commercial casino to open in New York, despite being the last one approved for a license.
“Tioga is working closely with the [New York] Gaming Commission and its staff to complete the remaining steps required by law and regulations to convert the property into a full-scale casino and looks forward to opening the property as promptly as possible,” ARE said in a statement.