State gaming regulators on Friday indicated they would undertake a new request for proposal process to receive new bids for a Southern Tier-based casino following a personal request from Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month.

The announced was made in a joint statement from New York State Gaming Commission Chairman Mark Geran and Gaming Facility Location Board Chairman Kevin Law.

“The intent of the gaming statute was to benefit economically distressed Upstate areas experiencing high levels of unemployment,” Geran said in a statement. “Clearly, the Southern Tier meets this criterion. A process to generate new proposals focused on the Southern Tier may create an additional opportunity to identify an appropriately structured and capitalized gaming facility that could bring the region important economic development and employment.”

The board charged with awarding potentially lucrative casino licenses to casino developers last month awarded three permits to projects based in the Sullivan County, Schenectady and in the Finger Lakes community of Tyre, in Seneca County.

A meeting will be held Jan. 13 in New York City to discuss the issue.

Law, the casino siting board chairman, said the board will not be re-opening the process to the other regions of the state.

“Nevertheless, we are willing to entertain the Governor’s request to issue a new Request for Application for this region, given the recommendation of Lago in the Finger Lakes region could encourage proposals from new applicants in the Southern Tier region. However, the Board will not consider opening up either the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region or the Capital Region to additional Applications,” Law said in his statement.

Casino board members declined to issue a fourth casino permit last month, noting the northeast casino market was nearing a saturation point that could have harmed the commercial casino development effort underway.

But the announcement of which bids won casino permits came the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced it would put a ban on high-volume hydrofracking in place early this year.

The controversial natural gas extraction process had been considered a potential economic boon for upstate New York, especially the jobs-starved Southern Tier.

The announcement on hydrofracking, paired with Southern Tier-based projects being shut out, was seen as a serious morale blow to the region, with the Binghamton Press and Sun summing up the day with the word “NO” on its front page.

Sen. Tom Libous, a Republican who has a friendly public relationship with Cuomo, asked that the fourth permit be awarded to a Binghamton-area project.

Days after the announcement, Cuomo — who had stressed he was playing no role in the casino siting project — wrote to gaming regulators asking that they re-open the RFP process and consider a Southern Tier-based casino with the still available fourth license.

The move to reconsider the Southern Tier as a location for casino development still raises a number of questions, including the scope of Cuomo’s role in making the recommendation in the area.

At the same time, the question of whether yet another casino in upstate New York would be feasible in the Binghamton area given the proximity of both the Finger Lakes project and the plans by the Oneida Indian Nation to construct a “Wizard of Oz” themed-casino announced last year.