New York state is mandating that companies attempting to get one of the three New York City-area gaming licenses will have to pay at least $500 million to the state as a license fee, paid within 30 days of the award of the license.

The figure was announced by the New York Gaming Facility Board on Tuesday, with a request for applications also including a rating system to evaluate the potential of bidders.

Despite announcing the $500 million fee, authorities also noted that applicants “may propose to pay a higher license fee”, setting the scene for a potential bidding war between the casino giants who have set their sights on the potential revenue stream from the Big Apple.

According to reports, the initial casino licenses will last between 10 and 30 years, depending on the investment of the winning bidders, while the state’s portion of gaming revenue will depend on the rating of each individual bidder’s proposal.

“Economic activity and business development factors” will make up 70 percent of the score of the bidders’ proposals, including the provision of jobs, making the “highest caliber” casino (according to amenities), “maximizing state and local revenues” and the overall amount of capital invested.

The development of the workforce and its diversity will further comprise 20 percent of the bidders’ evaluation, while 10 percent goes towards the local issues such as minimizing the impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.

In order to be eligible, applicants have to obtain approval for zoning and land-use, while also receiving approval from the local community advisory committee.

This means that no set date has been fixed for the awarding of the licenses, which is estimated to take place at the end of the year.

Contenders for the licenses include Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment.