Eleven New York Casino Bidders Wait For Answers

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Eleven New York Casino Bidders Wait For Answers
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At some point in September — date to be announced — the New York State Gaming Commission will hold a meeting during which it may have answers to hundreds of questions posed by the 11 potential bidders for the state’s three downstate casino licenses.

“May” is the word of choice because this question-and-answer process started back in February, when the commission requested the questions from the interested parties. The plan was for questions and answers to be published and then a second round of questions allowed. This was supposedto be overby now – both sets of questions and answers.

Instead, the first set of questions has yet to be published.

While we wait for the next steps in this slow process, it’s worth taking another look at the whos, the whats, and the wheres of the 11 groups with designs on building their own casinos.


Caesars Entertainment, in partnership with SL Green Realty and Jay Z’s Roc Nation:Arguably the most ambitious proposal of the groups vying for a license, this casino would sit in Times Square, add up to some 250,000 square feet, and have nearly 1,000 hotel rooms. This proposal has drawn sharp criticism from theater owners and other business owners in the district.

Wynn Resorts in partnership with Related Companies: Looking to build in Hudson Yards near 11th Avenue and the Javits Center, this proposal is similarly ambitious to Jay Z and company’s plans. This would include a 1,500-room hotel with over 20 restaurants, nightclubs, and other amenities. 

Silverstein Properties with Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment (parent company of Parx): Another Hudson Yards (nearer to Hell’s Kitchen) idea, this group — headed by the same company that had a major role in rebuilding the World Trade Center site post 9/11 — came late to the party. This idea — called Avenir — would feature a pair of buildings connected by a skybridge and would include 1,000 hotel rooms in addition to low-income apartments, shopping, dining, and more.

Hudson’s Bay Company: The owner of Saks Fifth Avenue has floated one of the more outside-the-box ideas, as the company is pitching turning the top three stories of Saks’ flagship store into a high-end casino. It would cover about 200,000 square feet and include a casino-only entrance.

Soloviev Group with Mohegan Gaming: The only bid that features a Ferris wheel as part of the project, this plan also calls for a casino, a hotel, and four acres of parks and sports fields to be built on land already zoned for commercial and residential development near Freedom Plaza.

The Bronx

Bally’s: The only would-be bidder in the Bronx is Bally’s, which is looking to build in Ferry Point, specifically on 17 acres that are currently part of the Trump Golf Links course.


Thor Equities Group, with Saratoga Casino Holdings, The Chickasaw Nation, and Legends Hospitality: Planned for Coney Island, this pitch comes complete with a casino, a hotel, a new roller coaster, and a new museum. This one has the support of the New York Yankees, who own a piece of Legends.


Genting Group’s Resorts World NYC at the Queens Aqueduct Racetrack: This is one of the two racinos thought to have the inside track on acquiring a license. Worth noting, however: The Resorts World Catskills casino has had its share of struggles.

Hard Rock Willets Point: This entry, led by New York Mets owner Steve Cohen along with Hard Rock Casino, would put a casino on land that is currently used for parking for Mets games. Cohen isalready building a 25,000-seat soccer stadium, a hotel, and affordable housing on a nearby plot of land.

Nassau County

Las Vegas Sands and RXR Realty: Sands recently signed a preliminary 99-year lease with Nassau County to turn the property of the old Nassau Coliseum into a casino resort. 

Westchester County

MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers: This is the other racino believed to have a leg up, and there is plenty of adjacent real estate already owned by the company to build out its plans.