It could be one of the most fiercely-contested battles in casino gaming in years.
New York officials have confirmed they are willing to consider expanding the state’s casino portfolio, and the New York Gaming Commission has begun to welcome expressions of interest – in the form of a Request for Information (RFI) – from interested parties.
And there’s been no shortage of interest, as you would expect. A number of major players, including Hard Rock, MGM Resorts, Bally’s and Genting have already made their interest clear.
The Commission had set a December 10 deadline for their RFI requests, and it’s believed that Wynn, Las Vegas Sands and Rush Street Gaming have also expressed a desire to open a new resort on New York soil.
And with good reason too. New York has a population of more than $8.5 million, and with huge tourist appeal there would be plenty of foot-flow for any casino property within state lines. Several of NY’s boroughs have shown an interest in welcoming a new casino.
A request for information can be the basis upon which business decisions are taken in America. The RFI is used as a guide to compare suppliers’ capabilities against one another, and with the Commission suggesting that it will allow three casinos to be built in NYC or its environs after 2023.
Typically, the information provided in an RFI is data protected and redacted from public consumption, however Rush Street chose to make their case available to the media. They claimed that their work in some of the other areas in which they have casinos, such as Chicago and Philadelphia, has ‘transformed the local communities’, and is proof that they are the right brand for the job.
These are transformative times for the gambling sector in New York. Retail casinos and sportsbooks have already opened their doors in the state, while online sports betting is expected to be up and running in time for Super Bowl LVI in February.
A growing acceptance of gambling, facilitated by the need to boost revenue at a time when international tourism has been greatly impacted, suggests that it’s a case of when, not if, for new casinos in New York.
The Times They Are A-Changing
It seems highly unlikely that you’ll be seeing a casino on your next trip to Times Square, or equally popular tourist traps in NYC.
But the city’s surroundings are thought to be prime real estate for the new casino resorts, with Nassau County, Queens and Long Island mooted as potential locations.
Plans for a new resort in Manhattan were rejected earlier this year, and provisional plans for a resort on the Shinnecock tribe land of Southampton could be shelved given that the tribe is thought to have responded to the New York Gaming Commission’s RFI request.
It’s believed that the licences to operate the next three casinos in New York will be approved in the first half of 2022, and it’s likely that those firms who were given sports betting licences in the state – which include Bally’s, MGM and Rush Street – are likely to be at the front of the queue.