- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The first of four new casinos planned for upstate New York could be open by the end of the month after state gambling regulators gave final approval to regulations for table games Tuesday.

The rules govern table games such as poker, blackjack, roulette and craps and cover operational details including the proper way to shuffle and deal cards.

Four new casinos have been authorized for upstate. The first to open will be Tioga Downs, a race track and electronic gambling parlor in the Southern Tier that is expanding into a full Las Vegas-style resort casino.

Owner Jeff Gural said new casino could open as early as Nov. 16.

“Physically the place is done,” he said. “The slots are going in, the table games are there.”

Other casino projects are under construction: Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County in the Catskills; Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady; and del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County in the Finger Lakes.

Tioga Downs, located west of Binghamton, was the last of the four casinos to receive a state license, but it will be the first to open. Gural said he expects to host a two-day invitation-only soft opening to work out any kinks before the facility opens to the wider public.

Before that can happen, however, the rules approved Tuesday must be formally published, the Gaming Commission must award a final certificate of operation, and Tioga’s employees must receive their licenses.

“It’s one step at a time,” Gural said.

An adjacent hotel is under construction.

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