Where Could a Casino Be Built in New York City? What We Know
In April, Albany authorized up to three casino licenses for downstate New York, which includes New Yorkers. New voters approved the legalization of Las Vegas-style casinos in the state in 2013. The state legislature initially authorized four casinos to open upstate, giving them several years to build their business before having to compete with any casinos.
The state gambling regulators have said no determinations will be made until sometime later in 2023 at the earliest.
The application process will be overseen by the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board. The board will make recommendations to the Gaming Commission, which will decide which licenses to award. The commission has said it will not overrule the location board unless it finds a problem with the fitness and character of the applicant.
Vicki Been was the deputy mayor for housing and economic development under Mayor Bill de Blasio. Quenia Abreu is president of the New York Women's Chamber of Commerce. Stuart Rabinowitz was president at Hofstra University for 20 years.
The application process has to open by Jan. 6. At that point, casino operators and real-estate developers can submit their official proposals.
The process is set up so that strong community opposition can kill a casino bid before state regulators even review the application. For each application, a local Community Advisory Committee will be formed to hold public hearings and issue a formal finding of how much community support the proposed casino has. The committee would have six members, with the governor, the mayor, local state senator, state assembly member, borough president and local City Council member each choosing one member. At least two-thirds of the committee members must approve of a project before the state regulator begins evaluating the proposal.
Eric Adams is a supporter of casinos in New York City. He was a state senator when he was involved in a scandal involving video-lottery machines at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. The racino is the biggest employer for hotel workers’ union. A lobbyist for the union supported his campaign. Mr. Adams gave a job to his friend Timothy Pearson at a racetracking next to the racinocke.
Gov. Kathy Hochul controls the New York State Gaming Commission. She will stay out of the bidding process, but she has an opportunity to exert substantial influence.
The region's two existing racinos are the leading contenders for two of the three licenses. Genting Group’s Resorts World New York City in Queens and MGM Resort International”s Empire City Casino in Yonkers are understood to be the real contenders.
Wynn and Related are bidding to build a casino on the undeveloped portion of Hudson Yards.
SL Green Realty Corp. and Caesars Entertainment are proposing to build a vertical casino at 1515 Broadway. The base of the building is the Broadway theater playing “The Lion King’s” musical. Developers promise to dedicate some of their profits to improving sanitation and safety in the neighborhood.
Steven Cohen, the hedge fund manager who owns the New York Mets, has been in talks with Hard Rock to develop a casino next to the team’s stadium in Willets Point in Queens.
Joseph Sitt is founder of Thor Equities Group, a real estate investment firm. He is putting together a bid to build a casino in Coney Island in Brooklyn.