A Winning Wager: New York Needs a Casino in Manhattan

New York Casinos

As gambling and legalized sports betting sweep across the United States, is it time that one of the most famous destinations in the world gets a casino? Casinos in Manhattan, New York, might have seemed like an afterthought a decade ago. However, that might all change in the near future.

Manhattan is home to some of the most recognizable landmarks in the US and the world. Central Park, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty are all in Manhattan or nearby.

Additionally, Broadway attracts millions of people from all over the world to Manhattan. There are endless entertainment and dining options stretched across 13.4 miles of Manhattan Island. Despite all of the entertainment within this space, there isn’t a casino in the vicinity.

Let’s take a closer look at the prospects of adding a casino in Manhattan, along with where local gamblers have to travel to just to place wagers in the state and at New York online casinos.

Why Aren’t There Casinos In Manhattan, New York?

In 2013, New York State legalized casino gaming. However, there was one provision that was distinguishable from the rest of the language in the bill. To pass the casino gaming bill, they agreed to not build any casinos in certain geographical locations.

The goal of the bill was to provide economically distressed communities in the upstate region with more economic activity. Currently, North Carolina is in the process of following this same model for granting casino licenses.

The government wants to place casinos in communities that need a lift economically. Diverting too many gamblers to Manhattan, or keeping them there without making a trip, would hurt the neighborhoods the bill intended to help. With fewer visitors, there would be fewer tax dollars and jobs for the region.

However, the stipulations of the original gambling bill were only intended to last until 20231. In other words, the rules surrounding where casinos could be built in New York were lifted. Now that it is 2023, the push for opening a casino in Manhattan has been heating up.

There has been a slew of developers looking to pitch their ideas to New York State for a Manhattan casino. Even rapper and businessman Jay-Z reportedly wants a piece of a casino in Manhattan.

Three Gambling Licenses Up For Grabs In Downstate New York

Downstate New York, which includes New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island, is the possible site of new casinos in New York. It includes one highly coveted casino license in Manhattan. In January, the Request for Application (RFA) process was officially approved by the New York Gaming Facility Board.

The largest real estate and casino operators want to get in on what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Native of Brooklyn, New York, Jay-Z, who has been synonymous with New York, wrote an open letter to New York State.

In the letter, Jay-Z pleaded his case for why he and Roc Nation should be awarded the casino license in the heart of Times Square. In collaboration with Caesars Entertainment, the owners of Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Jay-Z highlighted several benefits that a casino would have in New York City, including improved transit and support for surrounding businesses.

Along with Jay-Z, there are several other heavyweight investors attempting to be approved for a Manhattan casino license. Some of the most prominent investment groups applying for the lucrative New York casino licenses include:

  • SL Green Realty/Roc Nation (Caesars Entertainment)
  • Silverstein Properties
  • Related Companies (Wynn Resorts)
  • Seminole Tribe (Hard Rock)
  • MGM Resorts
  • Las Vegas Sands Corporation
  • Hudson’s Bay Company (Saks Fifth Avenue)
  • The Soloviev Group (Mohegan)
  • Vornado Realty Trust

The companies lining up to apply for casino licenses in New York is quite an expansive list. The reason why is clear: a casino in Manhattan would result in a license to print money.

With the stakes so high, investors and casino operators immediately gravitated to the Request for Application.

Potential Locations For Manhattan Casinos

There are a number of intriguing potential locations for casinos in Manhattan, New York. The Times Square proposal would generate the most foot traffic from tourists.


Times Square doesn’t need a casino to draw visitors to the area. When the casino gambling bill passed in 2013, New York State was adamant about not allowing casinos in downstate communities.

The door is open now, but decision-makers in New York may not be ready to put a casino in Times Square. Let’s examine some of the different rumored locations for the new casino in Manhattan.

Midtown East:

The most serious proposal for a casino in Midtown East Manhattan is being pitched by the Soloviev Group. The Soloviev Group is partnering with casino company Mohegan to apply for a casino license to build a property close to the United Nations headquarters.

Soloviev Group’s proposal includes a 1,200-room hotel, a museum related to democracy, entertainment, and vast green space which includes a massive London-esque Ferris wheel2.

According to the proposal, the area surrounding the UN building is in need of hotel rooms and retail space. Therefore, the hotel and casino would fill the void in Midtown East.

Times Square:

The Times Square casino proposal is headed by SL Green Realty and Roc Nation. In one of the most ambitious plans, Jay-Z and SL Green Realty want to partner with Caesars Entertainment to open a casino in the middle of Times Square.

The casino is reportedly expected to be developed on the upper floors of Broadway 1515. There has been some pushback to the proposal, as five neighborhood associations, restaurant owners, and a church have formed a committee to oppose the casino3.

NY Time Square AP

Hudson Yards:

Another serious proposal, and one of the likely finalists, is from the Related Companies and Wynn Resorts. Located on the waterfront of the Hudson River, Hudson Yards comprises 28 acres of real estate development, including luxury shopping, dining, and condos.

Hudson Yards is one of the most exclusive and expensive communities to live in New York City. With a median sales price of $5.7 million this year, the casino would largely target high rollers and high-end customers.

The proposal is for a staggering $10 billion casino in Hudson Yards. In addition to a 1,700-room Wynn-branded hotel tower, the resort would have 250,000 square feet of gaming space with table games and slots4.

Far West Side:

Four blocks west of Times Square, you will find an undeveloped corner of land at 41st Street and 11th Avenue. World-renowned real estate developer Larry Silverstein, who owns the land, wants to build a brand new building for a hotel and casino.

The RFA proposal from Silverstein Properties is in partnership with Watche Manoukian, the owner of Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. The project, which is known as the Avenir, would have two 46-story towers connected by a sky bridge.

Silverstein notes that the location is less controversial and unlikely to draw criticism from residents than the other casino proposals. The RFA for the $1.8 billion resort was one of the last to be submitted to the New York Gaming Facility Location Board5.

Benefits of Casinos In Manhattan, New York

Why does New York need a casino in Manhattan? There has been some opposition from interest groups because of how a casino could impact their community. The most vocal has been the Broadway League’s “No Times Square Casino” coalition.

Despite appeals to the New York State, there are a number of benefits of developing casinos in Manhattan, New York. According to World Atlas, New York City is the most visited city in the United States. With 10,288,000 visitors by foreigners in 2019, NYC had roughly double the number of visitors from other countries than second-place Miami6.

A casino in the heartbeat of New York would undoubtedly be a big draw for visitors and gamblers from the area. It has the potential to be a windfall for investors and most importantly, to the state.

$500 Million Fee For Casino License

Not including the taxes that New York will collect, the State will automatically collect $500 million within 30 days of the license being awarded. The winner of the bids must pay New York a $500 million licensing fee or risk losing the project7.

For three casino licenses, the State will receive $1.5 billion without one cent behind wagered. With money being distributed correctly, this alone would benefit an array of groups in New York City. After you factor in the taxes, it is simple to see why casinos in Manhattan, New York, would be a success.

Job Creation

Legalizing casino gambling ten years ago resulted in the creation of well-paying jobs. When New York online casinos opened last year, another wave of jobs were made available to residents of New York.

For a major casino resort in Manhattan, hundreds of jobs will have to be filled to run the property. That includes construction jobs and off-shoot jobs for restaurants and local businesses in the area of the casino.

The Silverstein proposal includes two 46-story hotel towers. Meanwhile, the Related Companies and Wynn Resort want a 1,700-room hotel attached to the casino. That is a lot of local jobs for residents of Manhattan.

The Spiral, Manhattan AP

Improved Transit System

Money generated from the Manhattan casino will be used to help fund the NYC transit system. As part of the FY 2024 Budget introduced by Gov. Hochul, the new casinos are going to be instrumental in helping save and improve the MTA.

According to the FY 2024, a share of an estimated $231 to $413 million in incremental annual tax revenue from the casinos will go to the MTA. Additionally, a portion of the casino licensing fees collected by the State will be used to improve the transit system8.

The Times Square project backed by Jay-Z and the Silverstein Properties group both shared their willingness to want to improve the transit system from revenue generated by their casino. Money to support the transit system is one of the largest positives casinos would have on New York State economically.

New Yorkers Love To Gamble

In January 2022, residents of New York were officially legally allowed to bet on sports and gamble at online casinos. It didn’t take long for New Yorkers to embrace online legalization.

Gambling at New York sports betting sites surpassed all expectations, as the total betting handle is smashing records throughout the country. In 2022, New York gamblers broke a state record in the US with $16.2 billion in wagers.

Moreover, New York became the quickest state to accept $25 billion in online wagers. New York needed only 16 months to eclipse the $25 billion mark. The previous record was held by New Jersey, with it taking 47 months to reach $25 billion.

As of June 2023, New York State has earned an incredible $983.5 million in taxes from sports betting9. A luxury casino resort would bring out the biggest gamblers in the state to the Manhattan property.

Where Should Residents of Manhattan Gamble Online?

Upon the legalization of online gambling, residents of New York have a variety of casinos to choose from. This often makes selecting an online casino a time-consuming and exhausting process.

Fortunately, our team is on the pulse and has discovered the best online casino in New York. If you already have accounts at an online casino in New York, it always helps to have an extra site or two at your disposal, especially when it comes to

With generous welcome bonuses available, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t check out additional online gambling sites. The BetUS online casino and sportsbook have some of the best free cash bonuses available online for New Yorkers.

Casino players can score up to $3,000 in free bets at BetUS. For even more, deposit using crypto for a $5,000 welcome bonus. Sports bettors are not forgotten about, either. They are eligible for a $2,500 bonus and a $3,750 crypto bonus.

The bonus cash can be used to gamble on a wide variety of casino games at BetUS. You will never get bored or run out of games to play. From the classics like blackjack and roulette to unique games exclusive to the live dealer casino, all can be discovered at BetUS.

Ready to play at BetUS?


  1. 5 Things to Know About NYC-Area Casino That May Be Coming | The New York Times. Retrieved From “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/02/nyregion/casino-manhattan-nyc.html

  2. Latest NYC Casino Bid Includes a Ferris Wheel Near the U.M. | The New York Times. Retrieved From “https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/31/nyregion/nyc-casino-midtown-east.html

  3. Times Square Casino Bidder Finds Opposition in Broadway League | NBC New York. Retrieved From “https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/broadway-league-doesnt-want-nyc-to-gamble-on-a-times-square-casino/4241762/

  4. 4 Hudson Yards developer Jeff Blau reveals revised $10B casino bid | New York Post. Retrieved From “https://nypost.com/2023/05/28/hudson-yards-developer-jeff-blau-reveals-revised-10b-casino-bid/

  5. Mogul’s Manhattan Casin Pitch: A Location People Won’t Hate | Silverstein Properties. Retrieved From “https://www.silversteinproperties.com/commercial-real-estate-media/News/Moguls-Manhattan-Casino-Pitch-A-Location-People-Wont-Hate

  6. America’s 10 Most Visited Cities | World Atlas. Retrieved From “https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-most-visited-places-in-the-us.html

  7. New York charging $500 million fee for city casino license | New York Post. Retrieved From “https://nypost.com/2023/01/03/new-york-charging-500-million-fee-for-nyc-casino-license/

  8. Governor Hochul Announces a Record Investment to Save the MTA and Secure Long-Term Stability for Public Transit | New York State. Retrieved From “https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-record-investment-save-mta-and-secure-long-term-stability-public

  9. New York sports betting surpasses $25 billion handle milestone in record time | Yogonet Gaming News. Retrieved From “https://www.yogonet.com/international/news/2023/07/05/67786-new-york-sports-betting-surpasses-25-billion-handle-milestone-in-record-time

About the Author
Kyle Eve profile picture
Kyle Eve
Sports/Casino Writer
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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