Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top counsel is reminding administration staff to avoid contact with any representatives or supporters of a casino development project, according to a memo obtained by Capital Tonight.

In the memo dated March 31, counsel Mylan Denerstein says that any potential bidders, lobbyists, affiliated supporters, labor groups or even local governments in favor of the project should be avoided if they attempt to contact an executive chamber staffer to discuss the project.

The memo was released as the Gaming Facility Location Board issued requests for applications for up to four commercial casinos spread over three regions of the state.

Last week, the state Gaming Commission announced 22 different projects had submitted a $1 million filing fee to begin the casino review process.

The filing fee is expected to cover an extensive background check on the developers wishing to obtain a lucrative casino license from the state.

Denerstein instructs staffers that the process falls under the state’s procurement law, which she writes places “significant” restrictions on communications between a procuring agency and bidders.

Denerstein writes that communications from supporters or bidders for casino development that fall under questions regarding licensing, support or opposition to a particular casino proposal or questions and comments regarding the application review process should be avoided.

The exception to the rule is if a lawmaker contacts the governor’s office regarding a project.

“Since you may not know whether the person communicating with you is representing a bidder, you should assume that everyone contacting you about any of these issues is representing an interested party and decline to discuss the matter,” the memo says. “The only exception to this rule is that legislators and their staff acting in their official capacity are expressly exempted from the procurement lobbying law and may communicate with anyone regarding the Casino License RFA.”

The memo also outlines how to respond to casino lobbyists or developers by referring them to staff at the Gaming Commission.

Casino Memo by Nick Reisman