Four casinos in New York owe regulators millions in overdue fees
By Bob Garcia
The New York Gaming Commission is still waiting for four casinos to pay $17.7 million
While many other casinos in different states across the country are making great progress so far this year, it has been reported that four New York casinos currently owe large sums of money. According to reports, Resorts World, Tioga Downs Casino, Rivers Casino & Resort and Lago Resort & Casino owe the state’s Gaming Commission $13 million, which corresponds to fees ranging from the period of April 2017 to March 2019, while from April 2019 to March 2020 another debt of at least $4.7 million is reported. In total, the gaming properties have $17.7 million in outstanding and unpaid fees.
According to the New York Comptroller’s Office, as of its last report earlier this month, the Gaming Commission has not yet obtained any type of billed fee and lacked a policy regarding the supervisory fee disputes, which leaves much to think about since there is no clear resolution to this problem. The casinos were billed $9.3 million for the oversight fees in November 2019 and had until the end of that year to make payment. However, to date, there is no report that this action has been taken. According to the Comptroller’s report, the Gaming Commission had indicated that the lack of regulations made it impossible to invoice commercial casinos for the supervision fees, which led to a delay in the invoicing.
While these four casinos pay nothing toward their debt, over the three-year period, more than $153 million has been collected from video lottery terminals (VLTs) and Native American tribal casinos. “The Gaming Commission must do a better job of keeping up with New York’s ever-expanding gaming footprint. The commission should collect all the oversight fees that casinos are supposed to cover,” said Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He added that the commission urgently needs to do much more, especially as the state is exploring the possibility of issuing licenses for three new casinos and recovering from the pandemic.