April 19, 2024 3 min read


NYC City Council Approves Zoning for Casino Legalization

A total of 35 members of the City Council voted in favor of changes to the city's zoning that paved the way for the establishment of a casino

New York State previously announced its plans to introduce three new downstate casino licenses. One of those licenses is expected to be awarded for New York City and there are plenty of leading gaming operators and developers who have already shown interest. Overall, there are nine bids for a casino license for the Big Apple.

Earlier this week, city lawmakers approved important changes to the regulations, paving the way for the development of one casino. On Thursday, the New York City Council voted and approved a text amendment that would “allow applicants, with a proposed gaming site in the city, to be considered by committees of local officials established by the State’s casino licensing process.”

The City Council greenlighted the Gaming Facility Text Amendment which makes changes to New York’s zoning. Previously, casinos were not permitted within the Big Apple’s zoning, but the change seeks to address this conflict while still ensuring that local communities can help decide whether or not a casino is established in their area.

Operators interested in casino licenses must first secure approval from the local Community Advisory Committees (CACs), which will review submissions made before June 30, 2025. According to the City Council, after CACs approval and a Gaming Facility Location Board recommendation, one of those bids would be able to secure one of the three casino licenses announced by the New York State Gaming Commission.

Currently, casinos are not permitted uses within New York City’s zoning. This text amendment would resolve this zoning conflict, while maintaining communities’ decision-making authority on casino licenses within the State’s application process, which first requires approval by local Community Advisory Committees (CACs),

reads a statement from the New York City Council

Casino Opponents Raise Concerns

Although the voting of the zoning change text passed, it wasn’t without opposition. A majority of 35 council members supported the change while 15 members voted against it.

The City Council confirmed that the sites that would be considered for a casino would be “limited to high-density commercial and manufacturing areas.” This was precisely one concern for Kalman Yeger, one of the council members who voted against the zoning text change. Quoted by amNewYork, he revealed: “Casinos are bad, but they’re even worse in our residential neighborhoods.” Moreover, Yeger said: “They’re worse just blocks away from our schools, from our kids, from family lives. And no amount of revenue is worth destroying neighborhoods in the city. So that a lot of people can make some money…It’s bad policy.”

Despite the progress, there’s plenty of time before the potential approval of a casino license in New York.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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