The governor of New York has revealed ambitious plans to fast track three new casino licences in the state.
Announcing how she intends to spend her budget, Kathy Hochul announced that the new casino resorts were very much on the agenda – with a flagship venue in Manhattan thought to be high on the list of priorities.
However, those plans could be met with opposition, with state Senator Liz Kreuger revealing ‘there may be support in some parts of the city for siting a casino; I’m not so sure that my district in Manhattan would be open to one’. Local Assembly member Richard Gottfried also questioned whether his borough would welcome a casino:
“I think a casino would have a harmful effect on the whole atmosphere in the area surrounding it,” he said.
“I find it hard to believe that once there is one casino in Manhattan, there wouldn’t be strong pressure to have more.”
The state Senate and Assembly are ready to sit down and flesh out the details of a fast-tracked legislation change that would allow operators to bid for the trio of tenders – a casino for high rollers sitting atop the Saks designer outlet on Fifth Avenue is one of the projects thought to be under consideration.
Further details are expected today, with New York’s budget for the financial year ahead to be revealed, and it has been suggested that the Senate could place a $1 billion bounty on each of the licences they hand out.
The plan is expected to be endorsed by the mayor of New York, Eric Adams. He is a regular visitor to Monaco in his downtime, and his chief of staff – Frank Carone – had a sit down meeting with Las Vegas Sands CEO Robert Goldstein earlier this year.
Big Apple Bites Back
New York officials have made moves to liberalise the gambling landscape in the Big Apple in recent years, with online sports betting legalised for the first time back in January. More than $3 billion has been wagered on sports already in the state, with a reported $242 million generated in revenue – with a 51% tax rate on operators, you can see why the casino plans appear to be at full steam ahead.
Casinos are already legal and operating in New York, however many of those are tribal venues or located away from NYC and its boroughs. Those that are local to the city in Queens and Yonkers are operated by MGM and Genting, and they are likely to be among the chief contenders for the new licences.
With tens of thousands of gamers flocking from New York to neighbouring New Jersey, where there’s a vibrant legal casino community, officials are making moves to keep them on state soil to swell the coffers.
As well as the possibility of a VIP room above Saks, other rumoured projects include a casino and hospitality venue in Times Square, while operators including Las Vegas Sands have investigated the possibility of building on land adjacent to the New York Mets’ home stadium, Citi Field, in Queens.