Full-scale casinos are coming to New York, and the middling protests against this decision are unlikely to sway the state’s intention to give out three full licenses this year. The establishments fortunate enough to receive one will gain the ability to introduce live dealers and host table games such as poker, roulette, and blackjack.
The State Administration Is Looking Forward to the Added Revenue
The lobbying effort, which enabled the state to advance the timeline for the licenses, and to include them in this year’s budget, is spearheaded by Senator Joe Addabbo, an outspoken proponent of introducing more betting operators across New York State. The Senator, who is also chairman of the Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering, noted that the three new licenses would greatly benefit the local communities.
“By allowing three casinos in the downstate region to operate with full licenses, it will create thousands of jobs when considering construction and credible post-construction union jobs,” Addabbo said. “It also means additional revenue for the state, estimated at an initial $1.5 billion from the three license fees, and will allow us to significantly fund important educational and gaming addiction programs.”
Two of the Winners Are a Foregone Conclusion
At this point, it is already well-known amongst industry insiders where two of the three licenses will go. The first will be given to Empire City Casino, operated by MGM., located at the Yonkers Raceway just north of New York. The second will go in the hands of the massive Resorts World New York City casino, which combines one of the most visited racetracks in the area with more than 6,500 slot machines. It is owned by Genting, the Malaysian casino giant.
Resorts World, in particular, has continued to receive Senator Addabbo’s unwavering support, even though it now falls outside his own district. He said that the casino “will still be an economic engine for the state and the city, and they’ve been a great neighbor.” According to him, the three licenses would net the state an additional $1.5 billion in funding, which would help the state substantially increase its budget for funding important educational and gaming addiction programs.
As to where the third license will land, things are less clear. Several major casino brands have expressed interest at this time, but according to Addabbo, the contest for the last remaining spot is still “wide open.” Some of the big names that may try and stake their claim include the likes of Wynn Resorts, Bally’s Corp., and Las Vegas Sands. Whoever wins, however, will have to fight an uphill battle since they will need to compete with two well-established and popular venues.