Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway
Empire City Casino is one of the biggest gambling and entertainment establishments in the state of New York. Located in Yonkers, New York, just 20 miles away from Times Square, it is a popular weekend getaway destination for many New Yorkers.
The half-mile horse track boasts a 122-year-old tradition, expanding its business into the casino realm in 2006. It is currently owned by MGM Growth Properties, a real-estate and casino industry giant powering some of the world’s most famous casinos and resorts.
The casino’s 290,000-square-foot gambling space houses more than 5,000 gaming machines, including slot machines, roulette, baccarat, electronic craps, and sic bo, making it the second-largest slot parlor in New York.
In addition to its gambling venue and harness racing track, the property features many dining and entertainment options, including restaurants, bars, cocktail lounges, and bowling lanes.
Empire City Casino in Yonkers, NY, currently welcomes its patrons seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The guests must be at least 18 years old to be allowed to gamble.
Empire City Casino
- Address: 810 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, New York, Westchester County
- Owner: MGM Growth Properties
- Operator: MGM Resorts International
- Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 PM
- Casino games: 5,300 slot machines, roulette, baccarat, electric craps, and sic bo machines
- Sportsbook: No
- Poker: No
New York Casinos in the News
Empire City Casino online gambling
Empire City Casino boasts its very own online gambling platform offering slots and table games, including online blackjack and online roulette in NY. However, Empire City Online Casino is hosted in Nevada, and doesn’t support real-money online gambling since it is prohibited under US law. Instead, players must buy virtual credits to play the games but cannot expect real-money payouts.
The website’s purpose is pure entertainment, and it can be accessed on all mobile devices and platforms, meaning both Android and iOS users can enjoy playing the games. However, the website states that users must be over 21 years old.
Should New York succeed in legalizing online casino gambling for real money, Empire City Casino would likely seek to pursue this valuable source of gaming revenue. Potential companies interested in competing for the business could include:
- DraftKings online casino in NY
- FanDuel online casino in NY
- BetRivers online casino in NY
- Caesars online casino in NY
- BetMGM online casino in NY
The company also powers the Empire City Bets betting website, offering online horse race betting. As far as online betting goes, only wagering on horse racing is allowed in the state of New York.
The casino at the Empire City Casino
Although the estate at Yonkers has existed since 1899, it did not have a casino on the premises until 2006. The establishment opened its doors on Oct. 11, 2006, and managed to gross a total of $3.8 million in its first week, leaving its nearest competitors in the dust.
At this time, the casino accommodated only 1,870 machines. However, the expansion of the business was imminent, as it continued to gain in popularity. Hundreds of millions of dollars in investments later, the casino now boasts a 290,000-square-foot gambling area with more than 5,000 different slot machines and table games.
The facility operates under New York state lottery laws, meaning that it can only house video lottery terminals and electronic table games. Video lottery terminals, or VLTs, differ from classic slot machines in that they don’t use standard RNG technology but a lottery-like system regulated by the laws of the state.
The gaming collection has options for both recreational players and high-rollers as the stakes range from 1¢ to $100. As a bonus, the minimum required age to play these games is just 18, compared to RNG casinos, where the threshold is 21.
Sadly, Empire City Casino doesn’t offer any live dealer games at the moment since it doesn’t have a full gaming license yet. However, MGM Resorts International is working with state lawmakers to gain the necessary accreditation and turn the establishment into a full-scale casino.
This way, the operator will expand its service to live dealer games and sports betting. Thus it will be able to offer 5,855 new job openings and bring $2.3 billion in additional revenue to the state of New York.
VLTs and electric table games
An impressive collection of around 5,300 different VLTs and electric table games is bound to suit the demands of all players. Here, one can play slots, video poker, progressives, keno games, and a multitude of fully automated table games.
When it comes to slot machines, the collection includes some of the most popular titles slot lovers gladly play. For instance:
- Wheel of Fortune
- Top Dollar
- Triple Double Diamond
- Dragon Rising
- Michael Jackson King of Pop
- Family Guy
- Dolly Parton
For players who prefer traditional table games, the casino has prepared:
- Sic bo
- Three card poker
As expected, blackjack is one of the most popular choices among table game players. At Empire City Casino, you can play it regardless of your bankroll since minimum bets start at only $10. Conversely, if you’re new to table games, don’t forget to check out the free guides available on the Empire City Casino official website.
Bonuses and promotions
Empire City Casino has prepared a multitude of generous bonuses for both new and regular players. Some of the most notable ones include:
- $300,000 Ready, Set, Win! — A virtual drawing promotion during which lucky winners will split $300,000 in prizes, including the grand prize, a brand new Chevrolet Camaro! Earn 50 points on any slot machine or electronic table game to qualify.
- Mystery Point Multiplier — Swipe your card at the Promotions Kiosk for a chance to multiply your earned points by up to 20x.
- 5 Alive! — Receive $5 FREEPLAY® by earning 55 points on any machine.
- $10 Day — Receive $10 FREEPLAY® by earning 100 points playing on any machine.
M Life® loyalty program
Because Empire City Casino belongs to the MGM Group, its patrons can become members of the exclusive M Life® Rewards club and enjoy special perks and promotions. To become eligible for any of the promotions above, players need to have an M Life® Rewards membership. Becoming a member is completely free of charge, but players need to be at least 21 years old.
M Life® Rewards is a tiered loyalty system, and the higher up the ladder you climb, the more generous the rewards. You can advance up the tiers by collecting Tier Credits, which are awarded for slots, video poker, and table games, and for the money you spend on MGM Resort amenities such as hotels, restaurants, spas, and entertainment.
There are five loyalty tiers in total:
- Sapphire — up to 24,999 Tier Credits
- Pearl — 25,000 Tier Credits
- Gold — 75,000 Tier Credits
- Platinum — 200,000 Tier Credits
- NOIR — by invitation only
On top of the extra points and casino bonus percentages, members can also receive mobile check-ins, room discounts, priority hotel check-ins, priority access for valet and taxi services, complimentary cruises, limousine services, and many other rewards.
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Empire City Casino horse racing
Founded in 1899 as the Empire City Race Track, the half-mile Yonkers Raceway is one of the oldest operating standardbred-harness-racing dirt tracks in the country. It is also one of the few remaining year-round harness racing tracks in the US.
Horse racing lovers can watch live races five nights a week. The company also offers simulcast betting and online race betting. In addition to the standard win, place, and show bets, you can place the exacta, trifecta, superfecta, pick three, pick four, and quinella bets.
Visit the official website to learn more about condition sheets, entries, and results, race and simulcast calendars, nomination blanks, schedules, and more.
Empire City Casino amenities
In addition to the casino and racetrack, the Empire City Casino complex houses three restaurants, a pub, bars, cocktail lounges, and bowling lanes. When it comes to the dining options, there is something for everyone, from fast food to fine dining:
- Lil’ Cocina — Located on the first floor of the Grand Victorian Hall, the Lil’ Cocina diner is a perfect place to grab a quick bite. It is open from Monday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 a.m.
- The Big Kitchen — The international food restaurant offers everything from homemade pizzas to burgers, noodles, and desserts. Open from Monday to Sunday between 11:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
- The Pub — Enjoy your break with delicious food and drinks.
- Empire City Chophouse — A fine-dining option for those who enjoy a more upscale experience. The latest addition to the Empire City complex is open on Friday and Saturday nights only, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
As the Empire City Casino currently doesn’t have any hotel amenities, we would like to see it add some accommodation facilities. This is not hard to imagine, considering that its owner, MGM Growth Properties, already has some of the greatest casino resorts in the world under its belt.
Empire City Casino history
What we know today as Empire City Casino started as a horse racetrack more than 120 years ago. The year 1899 marked the opening of the 97-acre Empire City Trotting Club, later renamed Yonkers Raceway.
The most notable event in its recent history happened in 2006 when Empire City Casino was added to the premises, following the approval of the VLT installment by the New York State.
The casino launched with 1,870 video lottery terminals and 120,000 square feet of added space. The expansion eventually led to more than 5,200 VLTs and new amenities.
The year 2013 saw additional investments resulting in a grand entrance, two new restaurants, a lounge, two bowling lanes, and 30,000 square feet of fresh casino space.
In 2019, Empire City Casino was bought by MGM Resorts for $850 million. The current owner continues to invest in the facilities to obtain a full gaming license. This would turn Empire City into a full-scale casino that would be able to offer live table games and sports betting, among other services.