The New York State Gaming Commission unanimously approved three licenses for casino projects in different regions of upstate New York.

Gaming regulators granted final approval for the Montreign Resort in Sullivan County, the Rivers Casino in Schenectady and the Lago Resort and Casino in Tyre, Seneca County.

The Lago project is likely to be subject to a legal challenge from the Oneida Indian Nation, which operates Turning Stone Casino. The Oneida Indians have in recent months stepped up a campaign to block the project from receiving a casino license, arguing Lago’s presence in the area could hinder economic development.

Lago developers called their project a “game changer” for the Finger Lakes region.

“We have been involved in a number of first class casinos in different parts of the country and our collective experience in this industry tells us that Lago will be an overwhelming success,” said M. Brent Stevens, one of the project’s partners. “We are thrilled that the Gaming Commission has given us the green light and we look forward to building and operating Upstate New York’s best resort and casino.”

Lago’s owners have pushed back, charging the Oneida Indians simply want to protect their monopoly on casino gambling in the central New York region. Turning Stone operates within an exclusivity zone approved by the state and the Lago project lies outside of the area.

“Unfortunately, the decision was forced through by public officials who were blindly committed to this project and abandoned the public trust,” the Oneida Indian Nation said in a statement. “We are left with no choice but to turn to the courts. Litigation is necessary when public officials abandon their public responsibilities.”

A fourth license for a project at Tioga Downs could be issued for a project in the Southern Tier after state officials began a new bidding process in January after the Binghamton region did not receive a recommended license.

The approval is the culmination of a process that began with Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposing a constitutional amendment to expand table-top casino gaming beyond the state’s Indian tribes.

The three casinos represent the first phase of construction, which was aimed at upstate counties.

“I am confident that this resort will be the beginning of an economic renaissance for the Catskills,” said Sen. John Bonacic, a Republican who chairs the . Congratulations to the Town of Thompson, Sullivan County, and all the other counties that will benefit from this resort when it is built and operating.”

12+21+15+Letter+from+G++Borden+to+Gaming+Commission+and+Lago1+copy by Nick Reisman