Thor Equities and its partners have released renderings of a Coney Island casino bid that will be in the running for one of three available downstate licenses. The potential New York casino has been dubbed The Coney and features an entertainment venue and hotel.
In the mock photos, The Coney is a massive glass building with a multi-color top that towers over the amusement park. But before the renderings come to life, the casino must first receive approval from the Gaming Facility Location Board.
The organizations working with Thor Equities on this endeavor are The Chickasaw Nation, Legends and Saratoga Casino Holdings. The group provided this statement to PlayNY in regards to The Coney:
“The first renderings show what’s possible by selecting Coney Island — an iconic community that’s been a beloved destination for generations of New Yorkers and people worldwide — as a casino and entertainment venue.”
What The Coney has to offer in NY casinos landscape
The Coney would provide a Vegas-style gambling atmosphere featuring slot machines and poker tables. However, the group hasn’t revealed how many slots and table games the casino would house.
What we do know is the project would be considered a resort because it has a hotel and entertainment venue. Also included are large areas for conferences and meetings. But most important, the casino would draw visitors to Coney Island year-round — something the area currently lacks.
In the statement to PlayNY, the group said:
“The project’s revitalizing power will help drive a Coney Island comeback for a community that has lagged behind Brooklyn and the rest of New York City in several areas, including a higher poverty rate, unemployment rate, and higher rates of New Yorkers without health insurance.”
“The Coney, a brand new, state-of-the-art, year-round entertainment venue, will provide jobs and help jump-start the economic revival of the legendary neighborhood.”
Not everyone sees the vision
The idea of bringing a casino to Coney Island doesn’t sit well with a lot of locals that call the area home. Many of them believe it will do more harm than good in the neighborhood, such as causing a spike in crime.
But former New York City council member Robert Cornegy is advising on the project, and he believes The Coney will revitalize the local economy. He told Fox 5 NY that the casino “will give them the boost, or the shot in the arm they need.”
He also promised that The Coney will not for out or displace local businesses. In fact, Cornegy believes it will create jobs and economic development.
Downstate NY casino license race chugs along
It won’t be easy for The Coney to receive a downstate casino license. Plenty of other groups have announced they will be applying for a license.
In 2023 alone, Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Vornado Realty Trust and Caesars Entertainment have all expressed interest in a NY casino. Add them to a long list of groups that in 2022 announced they were in on the bidding, too.
But The Coney and the groups backing it do have a leg up on some of its competitors, and that’s experience in the gaming industry.
Saratoga Casino Holdings operates the Saratoga Casino Hotel in upstate NY and also runs casinos in Colorado and Mississippi.
Then you’ve got the Chickasaw Nation, which operates upward of 25,000 electronic games as well as the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma — the largest casino in the world by square footage.
Backing from groups with proven track records of success in the gaming industry should help Thor Equities and The Coney in their quest to become the first licensed gaming venue in the Five Boroughs.