A US appeals court ruled in favor of resort operator EPR Resorts, formerly known as EPT Concord. The company is in charge of the construction and operation of the Montreign Resort in the Adelaar area in New York that would host the Montreign Casino. The court ruling was against real estate developer Louis Cappelli and Concord Associates.
Back in 1999, the developer’s Concord Associates purchased a 1,600-acre site aiming to build a casino resort. In 2007, the entity needed capital of $162 million, which it borrowed from the former EPT. In order to secure its loan, it used the greater part of its property as collateral.
Although Concord Associates failed to repay its loan, it could proceed with its plan for the launch of a casino but on a smaller slice of the previously purchased site. Yet, it had to fund its development by means of a master credit agreement, under which any construction loan should have been guaranteed by Mr. Cappelli himself.
Concord Associates failed in this, too, and in 2011 proposed to issue a high-yield bond totaling $395 million. EPT refused and Concord Associates brought the matter to court arguing that their proposal complied with the agreement between the two entities.
EPT, on the other hand, introduced its own plans for the establishment of a casino resort. The gambling facility is to be run by gambling operator Empire Resorts.
Apart from its ruling on the legal dispute between the two entities, the appeals court also ruled that Acting Supreme Court Justice Frank LaBuda should have withdrawn from the case as his wife – county Legislator Kathy LaBuda, had made public statements on the matter.
Mrs. LaBuda had openly supported EPT and its project. Judge LaBuda was asked to recuse himself but he refused and eventually ruled in favor of the afore-mentioned operator. He wrote that any decision in favor of Concord Associates would not have been in public interest and would have been considered violation of the state gambling law.
Quite expectedly, his ruling was questioned by people and this is why the appeals court decided that he should have withdrawn from the case. Yet, that same court also backed EPT, claiming that Concord Associates had failed to meet the terms of the contract, which were unambiguous and clear enough.
— FBI, New York State Police and other law enforcement personnel executed an early morning raid at several locations in the Monticello area, apparently focused on narcotics and firearms activities.
At noon today, there will be a press conference held at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in White Plains to announce narcotics and firearms charges and arrests of numerous defendants in a Monticello and Sullivan County-wide investigation.
Residents on High Street said they were awakened at around 4:50 a.m.
by four loud bangs as helicopters hovered overhead and police swooped in on a house located between Landfield Ave. and Liberty St.
Police said the coordinated effort began in the early morning hours. It is believed that several locations in Monticello and Fallsburg were involved in the raid.
FBI agents could be seen talking to residents and collecting evidence Tuesday morning.
State Police cars were on both ends of High St., blocking the scene.
One male was spotted handcuffed and placed in the back of a State Police SUV and led away.
High St. residents said law enforcement has performed drug raids before on their block, which connects Pleasant St. to Liberty St.
A worker at an insurance company nearby, who reported to work at 3 a.m. Tuesday, said she saw a lot of police activity starting at 4:30 a.m. By 5:30 a.m., she related, patrons were reporting that police were raiding multiple residences.
We will publish more information as it becomes available.
Federal and Sullivan County Prosecutors Tuesday afternoon will be revealing details of a drug and firearms sweep that resulted in the arrests of 34 people.
Authorities Tuesday morning unveiled indictments spelling out a long list of charges, including heroin trafficking, and possession of illegal firearms.
Early information details a heroin-supply conspiracy, based in Monticello, distributing the drug in many parts of Sullivan County. One man, Darcy "Moey" Copeland, is said in the indictment to have run the drug network from inside the Sullivan County Jail.
The announcement is being made jointly by Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Jim Farrell, the Sullivan County district attorney and officials from the FBI, State Police and state Department of Homeland Security Investigations.
Bharara was planing a news conference for noon, in his offices in White plains. Arraignments were to be proceeding in Monticello, beginning about the same time.
The indictments include allegations that drug traffickers accepted firearms for payment for drugs, and that the traffickers conspired to distribute heroin and cocaine.
The indictment sheets detailing the alleged drug conspiracy spell out a long list of street names, including “Trip,” “Dog,” “Hollow,” “Pito,” and ‘Gang.”
Those arrested in the overnight sweep are being arraigned in Sullivan County Court today.
Listeners across the country will be treated to a little slice of Sullivan County this Saturday Morning, July 25, when they tune into Weekend Edition Saturday with host Scott Simon on NPR. Simon will interview Christine Miller, owner and proprietor of Dahlia's Delights in White Sulphur Springs, about her business and the food it serves. It's part of a summertime series on Weekend Edition exploring “local flavor” at snack stands across the USA.
“When WJFF heard NPR was searching for local, family-owned businesses serving interesting summer time snacks, we immediately thought of Dahlia's Delights,” explains Jason dole, Program Director at the non-profit Jeffersonville station. “It looks like a regular old ice cream stand, but it has some wild gourmet food choices in addition to the dogs and cones.”WJFF recommended the local business to Weekend Edition, and the national program decided to feature Dahlia's Delights on Scott Simon's show.
In addition to recording the phone interview between Simon and Miller, WJFF also recorded interviews with customers at the ice cream stand that will be part of the final feature. These community members include local families, contractors, vacationers, and even the vintage car aficionados who gather at Dahlia's on Wednesday evenings.
“It was fun working with the folks at NPR and a great learning experience for our station,” says Dole. “ And the fact that we could involve members of the community in this instance was even better.”
The final piece can be heard July 25 on Weekend Edition Saturday, which airs locally on WJFF from 8 to 10 a.m. WJFF broadcasts at 90.5 FM in the Catskills and N.E.P.A., 94.5 FM in Monticello,
About to ramp up , let me tell you so much work has been done it is a fantasy come true. In the past 2 months more work at the casino site then has ever been done anywhere in Sullivan. Homer Run.
Your negative opinion of the new casino is mostly correct however a little short sighted. Sure business in the Sullivan area would love to eat at the tourist casino goers banquet , however we all that is not going to be the case. More then likely businesses are going to make their daily bread off of repeat sales from (new residents and workers), not casino tourist. Relocated new faces with new money spent at local business. Who cares what happens to the stock!!! I'm more concerned with a revival of the small towns in Sullivan. I'm sick and tried of drug abusers and dealers, welfare cheaters and social security disability stealers , let's not forget religious tax scammers.
For decades, the one thing you could count on in so much of Sullivan County was a negative attitude.
If you told a diehard Sullivan citizen the sun would rise in the morning, the reply might be: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Sullivan County was the victim of so many broken promises by so many casino schemers, it should have been called the show-me county.
I discovered that in 2000, when the St. Regis Mohawks received one of the first federal approvals in the country for an off-reservation casino at Monticello Raceway. That was a sure sign, I thought, that Sullivan was getting its casino.
But not the folks in the show-me county. They responded to that news with a resounding chorus of, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
If there’s one immediate benefit from the fact that the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar is actually going to build its $1 billion resort casino off Route 17 Exit 106 – and already has the infrastructure and site work to prove it – it’s the change in the Sullivan County attitude.
Just listen to what folks are saying.
“I get chills when I think about it. I’m so excited,’’ said Judy Piazza, daughter-in-law of Nella Vrancich, who owns Nature Restaurant and Lounge on Broadway in Monticello, which just reopened after several years of being shuttered.
Even county officials who’ve tried – without much success - to appear upbeat as Sullivan’s poverty soared literally can’t contain themselves when they talk about Montreign and the thousands of jobs it means.
“It’s just so exciting, ” said Sullivan County Legislator Kathy LaBuda, at the recent Sullivan United mixer/rally overlooking the soon-to-be renovated Monster golf course at the site of Montreign.
That’s where another Sullivan legislator and longtime casino dreamer, Ira Steingart, explained the reason for the sunny attitude, after years of so much gloom. Steingart, whose family business printed brochures and ads for the hundreds of resorts that once boomed in the Catskills, said it’s a no-brainer why Montreign would be a “game changer.”
“Two thousand jobs with a population of (76,000)? We’ll have more disposable income. We’ll see Main Streets booming, towns changing, the housing market ….”
So sure, some folks in the show-me county won’t believe the Montreign Resort Casino is real until the doors open. Old attitudes die hard, especially when folks have been burned so often.
But another longtime resident who’s been hearing about the casinos that never came for as long as he’s been alive now has been hearing what so many others in the show-me county have been hearing: hope.
Lawyer Jacob Billig represents the developer of one of the countless sites for a casino – Trading Cove of New York, which aimed to build a Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans casino in Bridgeville. Even he knows that this time around, the casino dreams will come true.
“In the last 24 months, there’s been a complete reversal in the attitude in the county,” he said
MOUNTAINDALE - The Fallsburg Police Department is investigating body remains found in this Sullivan County hamlet.
Chief Simmie Williams said Tuesday that body remains were found in the area this weekend, but the department could not release more information for fear of impeding the investigation.
The location of where the remains were found was not even revealed.
An autopsy was conducted on Monday but results were not released.
State police assisted in the recovery of the remains.
The countdown to the long-awaited license for the Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County begins Wednesday.
That's when the state officially publishes the proposed rules for casinos and the 45-day comment period on the rules begins.
The comment period ends Sept. 8.
Assuming the state Gaming Commission officially adopts or revises the rules, they can't be published until Sept. 30.
Since the state has already said background checks on the people and businesses behind the state's three new casinos should be done by the time the rules are complete, the casino licenses could be granted once the rules are published and the checks are complete - or not before Sept. 30.
Once the license is issued, a casino must open within two years.
ALBANY – The state could formally issue private casino licenses as soon as Sept. 30.
The state Gaming Commission voted last week to officially propose a set of regulations for licensing private casinos. After a 45-day public comment period, the board could adopt the rules as soon as the end of September, according to commission executive director Robert Williams.
Once the rules are adopted, the licenses could be awarded shortly thereafter.
“In general, these proposed regulations are necessary to incrementally advance facility licensing,” Williams said. “Without these, the commission would be unable to award any facility license.”
Late last year, the state Gaming Facilities Location Board recommended awarding licenses to the Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, Seneca County; the Montreign Resort Casino in Thompson, Sullivan County; and the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady.
Charles Degliomini, an executive with Empire Resorts, said recently the Sullivan County Montreign Resort Casino he's developing will have a regional impact that extends to Dutchess, ranging from jobs to tourism and including about $6.7 million a year.
According to the New York state Division of the Budget’s estimated fiscal impact of the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act, about $3,742,035 would be distributed annually to Dutchess County government and approximately $2,924,474 would come in school aid, property tax relief and local government aid in Dutchess County.
A spokesman, Mike Bieger, explained that these figures are based on an estimate of a $51 million annual distribution to counties in the Catskills/Hudson Valley region — Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.
Filling 2,400 permanent jobs will require help from afar, and the jobs will be good-paying and mostly union, “fully loaded” with benefits, Degliomini told the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce in June.
Construction managers have already begun some site work at the 1,700-acre property, of which about 55 acres is devoted to the casino and related construction. They plan to take bids for most of the work this month and have, at peak, 1,500 workers on the project.
But the final casino award comes from the Gaming Commission, which met Monday to propose the casino rules and changes to the Powerball lottery odds.
The deadline to apply for a fourth casino license — which is reserved for the Southern Tier — was 4 p.m. Monday.
When the proposed rules are printed in the official state register on July 22, they will be opened to a 45-day public-comment period. After that, the commission will meet in public and assess whether there needs to be any changes to the proposals.
Once that process concludes, the commission can formally adopt the rules in the next register, which would be printed Sept. 30, and the licenses could then be awarded.
“To analogize, the casino regulations are a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle,” Williams said. “These are the first three pieces.”
A State Police background search on Lago, Montreign and Rivers’ developers and investors is expected to wrap up shortly, Williams said.
New York voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2013 allowing the state to award up to seven private casino licenses.
Up to the first four were reserved for certain areas upstate, but the state Gaming Facilities Location Board originally decided to only award three.
After the Binghamton area was passed over for the Lago proposal, a public outcry ensued, leading the state to reopen the bidding for the fourth license.
As of Monday afternoon, there had only been one bidder for the Southern Tier license: Tioga Downs Casino & Racing in Nichols, Tioga County, which had been rejected during the first round of bidding.
On Sunday, Jeffrey Hyman — an Albany-area financier that had been putting together a bid for a possible Binghamton casino — said he wouldn’t move forward with his proposal.
There’s good news and bad news for casino-starved Sullivan County residents waiting for the state to issue a license for the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar.
The bad news is that a license most likely won’t be issued for at least two months – even though Montreign was chosen six months ago, on Dec. 17. Construction of the Monticello casino won’t begin until the license is issued, even though infrastructure work at the resort property is well underway.
Not only does the background check for the businesses and people behind the casino at the old Concord resort have to be completed before the license can be issued, the rules to regulate that casino must be finalized. Even if those rules were issued immediately, a 45-day comment period is required before they become final. So August would be the earliest Montreign would get its license.
The good news is that the state police are in the “final stages of information gathering” for the background checks, according to a spokesman for the state Gaming Commission, who noted that the state is also “nearing completion of draft regulations.”
“In short, at the max, licenses are expected to be issued by the end of the year,” spokesman Lee Park said.
Three gamblers from China including a woman known as the "Queen of Sorts" for her card-monitoring skills have lost a legal challenge to reclaim nearly $3 million in winnings and deposits they say were kept by Foxwoods Resort Casino based on false cheating allegations.
In a judgment entered Monday in federal court in New Haven, U.S. District Judge Janet Hall ruled the gamblers couldn't sue Foxwoods because the Connecticut casino's owner, the Mashantucket Pequots, has sovereign immunity as an American Indian tribe.
Chinese nationals Cheung Yin Sun of Las Vegas and Long Mei Fang and Zong Yang Li of Los Angeles said they went to Foxwoods in December 2011, deposited $1.6 million in "front money" to play mini baccarat and won just over $1.1 million.
The gamblers said they used a legal card-monitoring practice called edge-sorting that involves players being able to tell the difference between some cards because of imperfections on their non-playing sides.
When they went to collect their winnings and deposit, Foxwoods officials accused them of cheating and kept their winnings and deposit, the gamblers said. A tribal gaming commission official ruled that the gamblers violated Foxwoods' gaming regulations.
The gamblers then sued Foxwoods and several casino officials for at least $3 million, which included $100,000 in damages for each plaintiff for violating their civil rights.
The lawsuit said Foxwoods officials knew the three gamblers used the edge-sorting strategy before they arrived at the casino because their names were in reports by casino consultants who noted the three players had been beating Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos out of large sums of money. Cheung is known as the "Queen of Sorts" for being successful while using edge-sorting.
Marvin Vining, a lawyer for the gamblers, declined to comment on the ruling. He said he is seeking to reopen the case because of a "procedural mix-up." He declined to elaborate.
A lawyer for Foxwoods did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday.
The casino market in the northeastern United States is saturated, yet that's not stopping some states from approving gambling legislation and companies from building new gambling halls.
That's the consensus of participants at a major casino conference in Atlantic City.
Eugene Johnson, of Spectrum Gaming Group, says by the end of this year, there will be 60 casinos in the northeast. That figure will grow to 65 by 2018, according to his colleague, Joe Weinert. Among the new casinos is the Montreign Resort Casino that is expected to open in 2017 in Sullivan County.
"There's not a politician in the land who is going to choose a tax increase when gaming looks so good on paper," said Wendy Hamilton, general manager of Philadelphia's SugarHouse casino. "We have to avoid the siren song. There's not a zip code in the region that doesn't have four or five (gambling) options within an hour."
Asked if casino closings outside New Jersey are likely, she said nothing appears imminent, but "of course it's going to happen" if expansion continues at its current pace.
"Pennsylvania doesn't care what happens to New Jersey, and New York doesn't care what happens to Pennsylvania," she said. "It just can't go on forever. There's a finite amount of gaming revenue out there. We are in a very volatile time and we're in a frenzy of gaming expansion. It needs to stop."
Ed Sutor, president of Dover Downs casino in Delaware, said the entire mid-Atlantic region saw decreasing revenue in the first quarter of this year.
"New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland — the entire market is down," he said. "That is, friends, saturation. You're just moving money around. You bring in a new operator and the money just moves around and the entire market doesn't go up."
Sutor noted his state is considering adding three more casinos, which he said "makes no sense."
Atlantic City has lost half its casino revenue and thousands of jobs to competition from Pennsylvania, which is now under pressure from casinos in Ohio and Maryland, said William Ryan Jr., chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
"We in Pennsylvania know the competition we now confront will always be there, and the days of double-digit growth in that area are probably gone," he said.
More casinos are planned soon for Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New York. Hamilton noted that a planned second Philadelphia casino is being appealed to the state Supreme Court.
"There's a lot of competition right now," she said. "If you look at the entire mid-Atlantic region, you've got people really hammering each other to win people over. There's not $400 million in new money in that market. There's just not. We're keeping a wary eye on what's coming down the road; it's a scary situation."
New Jersey is considering allowing a casino in the Meadowlands, and possibly a second one in Jersey City.
"We're at a point where we're just moving money around," said Chris Brown, a New Jersey state senator from near Atlantic City who opposes a plan to extend casino gambling to other parts of the state. "All you're doing is cannibalizing the market you already have."
Lou Kirven, an executive with New York's Empire City casino, said adding two northern New Jersey casinos to a market also planning for three new southern New York casinos would be "one too many. We have saturation."
Bill Hayles, vice president and general manager of Pennsylvania's Hollywood casino at Penn National Race Course, said Maryland's casinos have cut into his business.
"We're feeling it from the Baltimore region, seeing some erosion in our business," he said. "The sad part is before they open, you spend all your time trying to figure out how to right-size your own property."
While the waiting for the granting of NYNY's casino license is painful, other projects are moving forward.
Veria gets the green light to start construction:
The health resort planned by Veria Lifestyle earned preliminary site plan approval Wednesday from the Thompson Planning Board, nearly clearing the way for construction to begin along the shore of Bailey's Lake north of Monticello.
Project attorney Gary Silver said all that's left is for Veria and the Thompson Town Board to agree upon a letter of credit (a $122,000 “restoration bond,” according to Planning Board attorney Paula Kay) that guarantees the site will be restored to its natural state if the project is not completed.
Plans are to open the resort next year, with seven stories housing around 120 rooms facing the lake, plus a spa, restaurant, pool, fitness center, yoga studio, therapy rooms and more. Up to 400 jobs are anticipated to be created, approximately half in construction and half in permanent employment.
Meanwhile, demolition continues of the old Kutsher's Country Club itself, where Veria initially planned to build the resort.
Did those yo-yos say anything today, I missed it. My neighbor said that a special meeting is being plan, stock price is saying nothing but bad future news! Doesn't make any sense?
Yeah it could happen as you say but why did you leave this part of the story out:
But before it could happen, New Jersey's Constitution would have to be amended in a statewide vote. Gural said he's optimistic a referendum could be held this November, as long as a bill authorizing it is adopted by the state Legislature by the end of June.
Should that not happen, the project might not go before voters until 2017, Gural said.
I took a ride with my grandson to the site last week, it is gigantic. We didn't see all those things you are talking about, however I was very impressed by the roads that have been cut. There are signs that work could being any day on a major scale but it still looks like a heck of a lot of prep work needs to be completed.
Excuse me.... "little people"...you deserve more than just a few thumbs down. Cyber-space makes you a tough guy in person not so much!
Well that may be the case, however, I'm going to hope for the best. Extra traffic (increasing the density) of people per acre is key to success, that is a fact. So bring in a 50 million dollar project with all its needed construction workers ( a town of labors) the more the better! Traffic brings more traffic, it will be a nice change to get rid of all those abandon bungalows and have some good old fashion working families as neighbors. Please save your "Negative Nancy hate" on pointing out it's..... Not on the Old Kutsher site...... the town people are going to protest . I go to every single town meeting,, and guess what? They are interested in the project and helping build it. So capital letter on Orggie,,, P.S There is a new product on the market, it gets FIVE stars from me: Marijuana K-Cups: Convenient coffee that picks you up and chills you out
Who knows when the gaming bozos will start giving out the casino licenses. Could be a week, month, or a few months? It will get here in due time. All, I know is everywhere you turn in Sullivan there is action (work, jobs). The Ace hardware store the super market, deli, car wash, and pharmacy in my town are looking for employees. So that makes my very happy. It is about time hard working people get a break. I plan on enjoying the summer and will be in the front row for ( Ground Breaking day) the golden shovel.