Governor’s Budget Address Considers Downstate Casinos in New York Sports Betting

Governor’s Budget Address Considers Downstate Casinos in New York Sports Betting

By Lou Monaco

Mobile New York sports betting, two weeks in, is off to an extremely promising start. Now, the sounds of a roulette wheel, slot machines and the shuffle of cards could be coming to the New York metropolitan area in the near future.

Fingers crossed.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Tuesday revealed her $216 billion dollar Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget, which includes a plan to allow the state Gaming Facility Location Board to issue a request for applications that could lead to three new full-scale casinos within the city or surrounding suburbs.


“We will issue an order to get bids in … there’ll be a board that makes a selection process for casinos across the state largely — the three will be probably focused in the downstate area, but there’s no restriction there,” said Robert Mujica, the state’s budget director, in a Tuesday news conference.

Back in December, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) set a Dec. 10 deadline for a request for information for unawarded commercial casino licenses.

The state currently has 11 casinos upstate, seven run by Native American tribes and four commercial sites that opened following a change to the state’s Constitution in 2013. That revision also placed a prohibition on an additional three downstate casinos until 2023.


Plan to End Impediments

Hochul’s plan would speed up that timeline and do away with penalties downstate operators would have to pay to the upstate casino owners if they moved forward before the current ban expires.

“Today’s Executive Budget released by Governor Kathy Hochul presents a fiscal path forward for New York State during these difficult times,” said state Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. “I believe the inclusion of expediting the three full casino licenses for our downstate region has the potential to bring in $1.5 billion in revenue for the state, additional educational funding and improvements to problem gambling programs.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Hochul administration and the Gaming Commission to ensure that gaming in the state expands and advances in a credible, reasonable manner.” 

New York already has four upstate casinos that are not run by Native American tribes: Del Lago Casino in Waterloo, Tioga Downs in Nichols, Resorts World in Monticello and Rivers Casino in Schenectady.

The three new potential casino licenses are the last ones authorized as part of the 2013 ballot measure.


Report on Possible Casino Locations

An October story in the  New York Post reported that two of the three licenses could go to gaming facilities already approved to run slot machines: The MGM Resorts-owned Empire City Casino in Yonkers (home of harness racing’s Yonkers Raceway) and the Resorts World Aqueduct Casino in Queens. That Aqueduct entry, owned by Genting Group, recently added a hotel and plans to expand to a true casino with card games.

Previously, the Post had reported that big names such as Bally’s Corp., Wynn Resort and Las Vegas Sands want to compete for New York City-area licenses. Those potential casino locations could include anywhere in New York City, Nassau-Suffolk in Long Island and Westchester-Rockland-Putnam counties north of the city.

Other potential sites, the Post reported, include Willets Point in Queens, where Mets owner Steve Cohen leases the Citi Field ballpark and adjoining parking lots; the Belmont Park development in Long Island, home to the Belmont Park racetrack; UBS Arena, the new home of the New York Islanders; and Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood.

A recent study by the NYSGC estimated that three new downstate casinos could generate somewhere between $420 million and $630 million in revenue per year.


Mobile Sports Betting Thriving

Four of the nine mobile sports betting operators (BetRivers New York, Caesars Sportsbook New York, DraftKings New York and FanDuel New York) all went live 11 days ago on Jan. 8 and Hochul reported in her Tuesday budget presentation that those four took in $150 million in wagers over opening weekend.

BetMGM New York went live on Monday, Jan. 17.

You can learn more about the latest promo codes and offers right here at EmpireStakes.com. Check for our frequent updates.

A report by the geolocation company, GeoComply, showed business booming in a big way the first two weekends.

There are still four sports betting operators left to get the go-ahead: Bally Bet, PointsBet, Resorts World and WynnBET.

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WRITTEN BY
EmpireStakes.com
Lou Monaco
Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.
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Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.
... Read More