Las Vegas-Style Casinos OK’d For New York City
$220 billion state budget approved Saturday would allow for three Las Vegas-style casinos in New York City, Long Island or in the lower Hudson Valley. Companies would pay at least $500 million for a license to operate one of the casinos.
MGM Resorts’ Empire City is a harness raceway in Yonkers north of the Bronx and Genting”s Resort World is at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. The Empire and Res Resort World sites do not offer table games such as craps, blackjack and poker.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, has said he envisions Empire City and Resorts World being awarded licenses to become full casinos. Another license could be awarded to a site in Manhattan. The location for a third casino might end up being in an area that would benefit more from economic development. In New York City, a community advisory committee will be tasked with helping identify locations.
In 2013, voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing seven commercial casino licenses to be issued. Four of the seven state-regulated casinos already have opened in upstate New York. The other three casinos were slated to open at downstate sites later, but the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved the budget on Saturday that fast-tracks that process.
Sports betting has occurred inside New York casinos since 2019, but legal mobile wagering only began on Jan. 8. Since then, the eight approved online bookmakers have accepted nearly $5 billion in bets. A ninth bookmaker, BallyBet, is expected to be operating statewide soon.