Twenty-two entities submitted a $1 million filing fee by Wednesday’s midnight deadline to gain the rights to build a casino in one of three commercial exclusivity zones north of New York City.

The list range include politically connected firms like Caesars Entertainment as well as harness racing companies in Saratoga and Tioga Downs.

Only four proposals will be selected for the three regions: the Albany area, the Finger Lakes/Southern Tier and the Hudson Valley/Catskills region.

The news of the application filing fees signal that start of a new phase of the casino process, initiated first in 2012 when state lawmakers took the first step in approving a constitutional amendment for expanding casino gambling in New York to table-top games.

Voters in November approved the casino referendum.

The filing fee will be used to conduct what state officials say will be extensive background checks on the developers, the companies and the proposals.

Application Fees Received, April 23, 2014 by Nick Reisman