Gov. Cuomo has written to the state Gaming Commission and the casino siting board, urging them to accept new applications for a fourth commercial license in the “true Southern Tier.”

The Governor’s request came nine days after the state casino siting board passed over the Southern Tier for a casino license, instead awarding the region’s sole license to the Lago Resort in Seneca County.  That decision led to complaints from Southern Tier lawmakers.

The Governor asked that the Gaming Commission and casino siting board act quickly to undertake a new application process, citing the region’s need for jobs and investment.  As of this writing, the next steps are not clear.  It is likely that the Gaming Commission will ask the casino siting board to follow through on the Governor’s request.

Gov. Cuomo has suggested that the Southern Tier’s economy will be a priority in his second term, much as he made the Buffalo-area economy a priority in his first term.  Given the economic challenges facing the Southern Tier, it’s critical that the Governor follow through on this.  The state’s decision not to allow natural gas development in the region represents a lost opportunity that would have generated millions of dollars in state and local tax revenues, while also creating thousands of jobs in the Southern Tier.