The Final 3 New York Gambling

  • The New York Gaming Facility Board voted to issue a Request for Application (RFA) to solicit a proposal for up to three commercial casinos.
  • Empire City in Yonkers and Resorts World in Queens are considered shoo-ins for two of the three Las Vegas-style casino licenses.
  • Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Steve Cohen, Stefan Soloviev, Thor Equities, and Steve Roth are among
  • those who have expressed their intention to join the casino race.

The New York Gaming Facility Board unanimously voted last Tuesday to issue a Request for Applications (RFA) to solicit proposals for up to three commercial casinos in the state of New York.

The Board also unanimously determined that all applicants must be willing to invest at least $500 million in their proposed project. Likewise, the license fee for the new casinos has been set at $500 million.

Due to timing nuances, the Board did not issue a deadline for the RFA issuance except for the due date for the preliminary round of questions which was set for February 3, 2023, and the Return Date, which is 30 days from the Board’s response to the second set of questions.

New York to Add Three Commercial Casinos in 2023

In 2013, the New York State Constitution was amended in order to build up to seven commercial casinos in the state. The state ended up awarding four casino licenses to upstate sites and gave them exclusivity for 10 years. Last year, legislators inserted a language in the enacted 2022 State Budget that would end the upstate casino exclusivity and authorize the issuance of up to three downstate New York commercial casino licenses.

Late last year, the New York Gaming Facility Board was created to issue the RFA and recommend the establishment of up to three downstate New York casinos. By statute, a separate appointed panel called the Community Advisory Committee ( CAC ) will be tasked to review applications.

In addition, the completion of municipal zoning and land-use processes will ensure that only proposals supported by the community will be presented to the Board for consideration. Other key components of the applications may depend upon the conditions of the competitive landscape with other applicants, which may only be determined after the processes have been completed.

The Board will recommend applications based on four objectives: economic activity and business development factors (70%), local impact sitting (10%), workforce enhancement (10%), and diversity framework (10%).

Empire City and Resorts World Have the Upperhand

New York’s downstate area already has two video lottery terminal facilities – Empire City Casino in Yonkers which is owned by MGM Resorts International and Resorts World New York City in Queens. Both casinos have already expressed their desire to upgrade to Las Vegas-style casino gaming.

Both gaming facilities are believed to have the upper hand in getting two of the three available casino licenses if they join the application process. That’s because unlike the other applicants who need to build their facilities from the ground up, Empire City and Resorts World are already existing and would only need to replace their VLTs with slot machines and table games.

If that is indeed the case, then the current casino search in New York is down to a race to a solitary license. Given the number of applicants who have stated their intention to throw their hats in the New York casino race, it’s going to be a very interesting competition.

Caesars, Wynn Resorts Lead Heavyweight Applicants

Among those who have already announced their intention to bid for a New York casino license are industry heavyweight Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts. Caesars is proposing to build Caesars Palace Times Square at building 1515 at Times Square. Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts is countering with a proposal to build a casino at an undeveloped portion of Hudson Yards.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen wants to build a casino near his MLB team’s stadium CitiField. Officially, Cohen is still looking for a casino company partner but reports last year are pointing to him and Hard Rock or Las Vegas Sands plotting a gaming facility at Willets Point.

Then there is billionaire Stefan Soloviev who wants to build a casino at a former Con Edison site near the U.N. Thor Equities also officially announced a $3 billion casino project proposal in Coney Island. A potential Herald Square bid is being linked to Vornado’s Steve Roth.

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Shane Acedera

Content covered on TSG: Blog and News

Shane turned a childhood love of the NBA into a successful writing career as he’s been covering basketball and other sports online since high school. Acedera branched out into sports betting over a decade ago and has been a reliable contributor to TheSportsGeek for the last five years. Shane loves to talk sports whether it’s with other enthusiasts or with his wife and three dogs.

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