Moves are ongoing as interested parties seek to secure one of three potential licenses to operate Las Vegas-style gambling, with authorities having been authorized last year for the downstate area of New York.
This is nearly a decade since the electorate approved casino legalization during a state referendum. That led to seven casinos being approved and four of which having been awarded to upstate operators.
By all accounts, there are ten bidders seeking to get the license to operate downstate, one of which is seriously upscale and would include a Ferris wheel and museum. Regulators have stated that the licenses are set to be awarded in late 2023 at the earliest.
Those which have already been announced are situated in Brooklyn and Manhattan, with two being in Queens. There have also been proposals for Westchester and Long Island.
Applying for these licenses is no small matter as simply applying will cost $1 million, and a successful application comes with a need to stump up $500 million for the license and another $500 million for the development plan.
The licenses offered last for a minimum period of 10 years and for a maximum of 30. Unsurprisingly, two proposals have come from racinos (racetracks that offer video slots), one being the Resorts World New York City, which is in Queens, and the MGM Empire City Casino in Yonkers.
The benefit these two sites have is that the local community is unlikely to object as they already have a relevant establishment in their vicinity and no doubt can see the upsides of having such a lucrative business in town.
The bid from Resorts World is backed in no small way by Senator Joseph Addabbo, who commented on the proposal;
“Certainly, they’ve had 11 very successful years of being a part of the southeast Queens community where they are a really good neighbor — and the biggest factor is they have the infrastructure in place and they’re ready to expand,”
“I do think they have a number of advantages beginning with location, and their proximity to the airport and accessibility to the city, I think that bodes well for them.” Addabbo added.