In 2013, New York state regulators authorized seven commercial casinos and four casino resort destinations in upstate New York. Last year, the regulators made some final changes to facilitate these establishments.
In 2022, the New York State budget was passed, creating a new approach and criteria for the three remaining casino licenses. Then, in April of 2020, Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature agreed to authorize up to three casino licenses for downstate New York.
In January 2023, the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board released a Request for Applications (RfA) to develop and operate a gaming venue in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County.
It has been confirmed that two racetracks that offer slot machines, Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World New York City in Jamaica, Queens, will each receive a license.
Only one casino license is available in New York, so the question is: who will be the lucky recipient?
Eleven different companies have put forth competitive proposals to compete for one of three available New York casino licenses. The proposals, announced as of May 1, include the following locations:
There are five proposals in Manhattan, located in Midtown, Hudson Yards, Penn Station, Times Square, and adjacent to the United Nations building. Additionally, there is one proposal in the Bronx (Throgs Neck), two in Queens (Willets Point and Ozone Park), one in Brooklyn (Coney Island), one in Nassau County (Uniondale), and one in Westchester County (Yonkers). Now, let’s examine who is responsible for these proposals.
Stephen M. Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, is managing Related Companies, which is in the running to open a casino in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards development.
In September of 2022, Ross formed a partnership with Wynn Resorts, a prominent gambling enterprise with locations in Las Vegas, Boston, and Macau. The company was established by Steve Wynn and is currently led by CEO Craig Billings.
Two companies were looking at the property located in the western rail yard of Manhattan, which is a part of the 28-acre Hudson Yards complex. This area, which was once a sunken train yard, has been a priority for Related Companies, as well as for New York Governor Hochul and former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The proposed casino project, which is estimated to cost $25 billion, would include the following:
The project, which was to include a residential and office tower with high-end stories and luxury apartments, a new park between Eleventh Avenue and the Hudson River in the West 30s, and a Hudson Yards casino close to the Jacob Javits Convention Center, was delayed due to the pandemic.
Ross was one of many people who gave money to Hochul’s election campaign last year. The chief officer of Related donated $69,700, and Hochul would likely have the final say on which casino licenses are awarded.