The momentum just keeps growing in New York. Sports betting becomes legal. Mobile legislation gets passed, paving way for New York sports betting apps and more. And now ... the race for three new casinos in New York.
The New York State Gaming Commission’s deadline for a Request for Information for Unawarded Commercial Casino Licenses is the end of business on Friday. The NYSGC seeks to open three casinos in the metropolitan New York City region to expand sports betting in New York .
In late October, the NYSGC released a 14-page document to get preliminary interest for potential casinos in the region.
Any proposals to the state are due Friday and no official announcement is expected to be made at that time.
“Historically we have posted casino-related material online after we apply whatever appropriate redactions accompany the submissions. We are likely to follow that process,” Brad Maione, the NYSGC director of communications, said in an e-mail to EmpireStakes.com. Wednesday afternoon. “As you can see from the RFI, we asked for opinions not just of those who are likely to seek a license, but of all interested and affected people and entities.”
That’s 3 New Plus Existing 4
These three potential casino licenses are the last ones authorized as part of a 2013 ballot measure that allowed for seven new nontribal casinos, four of which have already been built upstate. They are: Rivers Casino in Schenectady, Del Lago Casino in Waterloo, Tioga Downs in Nichols and Resorts World Casino in Monticello.
On Wednesday, Okada Manila International, a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment and an affiliate of the operator of Okada Manila, and 26 Capital Acquisition announced in a press release that they would submit plans by the deadline.
Under state law, the commission can consider downstate casinos after opening four casinos upstate in an effort to boost economic development. That was pushed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and current Gov. Kathy Hochul also has shown support.
Speculation on Sites of New Casinos
Back in October, when the initial request was announced, the New York Post reported that two of the three licenses could go to gaming facilities already approved to run slot machines: the Malaysian-based, Genting-owned Resorts World Aqueduct Casino in Queens and the New York BetMGM Resorts-owned Empire City Casino in Yonkers, which also has a harness racing track on the property. Genting recently added a hotel at Aqueduct and it has planned on expanding to a full-fledged casino with card games, according to the Post.
The paper also previously had reported that big names like Bally’s Corp., WynnBET New York Resort and Las Vegas Sands want to compete for a New York City-area casino license.
According to the Post report, 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 and UBS Arena, the new home of the New York Islanders; and Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood.
Recently, a NYSGC study estimated that three new downstate casinos could generate somewhere in the vicinity of $420 million to $630 million in revenue per year.
October a Record-Setter
New York’s current four commercial casinos upstate had a combined New York sports betting handle in excess of $25.56 million for October, easily breaking the record of $17.36 million set in September. That marked an increase of 47.3% in a month-over-month comparison.
However, revenues fell by almost exactly the same percentage. The casinos combined for $1.719 million in sports wagering revenue, down 46.1% from $3.19 million in September.