New York City allocates $220 billion to fund three casinos
June 6, 2022
A total of $220 billion is set to fund three full casinos around New York City as the Legislature approved the state budget last Saturday. The casinos will be using a Las Vegas theme and located on Long Island or in Hudson Valley.
Companies are fighting competitively to win the bid to operate on of the casinos. They are set to pay a minimum of $550 million just for the license of operation. The New York State Gaming Commission will directly supervise the licensing process.
Current operating casinos in New York City
There are two gaming venues in New York City offering slot-style video lottery terminal games. One is the Empire City casino with a harness raceway owned by MGM Resorts located at Yonkers, north of Bronx. The other is the Resorts World casino owned by Genting located at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens next to John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Both established casinos are actually not fully licensed thus they can not offer games for fully licensed casinos only. Thus, customers will not see table games in the casinos including craps, blackjack, and poker. Both are currently planning to upgrade their license to be able to operate fully.
The closest fully-licensed casino to New York City is the Resorts World Catskills which is 100 miles north of the city.
Support for full casino licenses
Other parties support the casinos' intention of upgrading to full-licensed casinos. One is the state senator from District Queens, Joseph Addabbo who is also the chairman of the state Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. He intended to award full casino licenses to Empire City and Resort World and it might extend to a site in Manhattan.
The senator said the location for the third casino might prioritize an area with economic development. To achieve this goal, a community advisory committee is set to find a suitable location for the casino.
Voters agreed in 2013 to allow the licenses of seven commercial casinos through a constitutional amendment. Four of them are already operating in upstate New York and are regulated by the state.
The three last casinos are already planned to open downstate at later date. But they might open far earlier as the budget proposed by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul was approved in the Legislature on Saturday as it was controlled by Democrats. Hochul is a big supporter of gaming who constantly praised the mobile sports betting program in New York.
Gambling sites in New York City across the years
New York City is the biggest metropolitan in the U.S. with more than 8.4 million residing in the area.
Sports betting has been operating side by side inside casinos across New York since 2019. Legal mobile wagering in the state though only begin earlier this year on January 8, 2022.
The opening time of mobile betting might be short but it has accumulated around $5 billion in bets across eight approved online sportsbooks. It is the highest number a state has garnered within the timeframe. BallyBet plans to open in the states as the ninth sportsbook in the city.
Meanwhile, there are seven tribal casinos currently open in the state along with four commercial casinos.