5 Things to Know About NYC-Area Casinos That May Be Coming
New York State approved the issuance of three new casino licenses for the New York City area in April. The state legalized casinos in 2013, but it agreed not to place any in the downstate region until 2023. Gov. Kathy Hochul wanted to move faster and included a provision in budget to advance the timeline.
MGM's facility in Yonkers and Resorts World's racetrack in Queens are considered to be the favorites for two of the three casino licenses. The third one is still a long way off. New York City will probably not get all three licenses, but some other parts of city are in play.
MGM and Genting are planning to upgrade their facilities in Yonkers and Queens to full-scale casinos. The competition for the presumptive third license is a free-for-all. Developers like SL Green, Related Companies, Vornado Realty Trust in Manhattan and the Citi Field owner, Steven Cohen, in Queens are considering participating. Joseph J. Sitt, the chairman of Thor Equities, is planning a bid for a site on Coney Island.
The New York State Gaming Commission has the power to approve or reject the applications for three new casino licenses. The commission has to appoint a location board and a community advisory committee before it can make a final decision. In New Yorkers, two of the location boards will be appointed by the governor and the mayor, and four by local representatives. A two-thirds majority of a committee's votes is needed to pass a license. In NYC, the community committee will have a say on the application.
There are a lot of casinos in the United States. New York City is different. It is affluent and dense. Resorts World at Aqueduct is the highest-grossing slots casino in New Yorkers' history.
The New York State Gaming Commission has yet to decide if the state-owned land at the Aqueduct, in Queens, or the land near Penn Station will be allowed to be developed as a casino. If the developer can get the approval of the New Yorkers' Council and the go-ahead from the community advisory board and gaming commission, they will have to pay at least $500 million to the State.