Wynn Sheds Online Sportsbook But Still Has NY Casino As Part Of Its Future

Written By Grant Lucas on February 14, 2024 - Last Updated on February 15, 2024
Skyline of Hudson Yards, where Wynn hopes to develop a downstate New York casino

Wynn may be closing up shop on its online sportsbook in New York, but the Las Vegas-based company has not altogether scratched the Empire State from its future.

Speaking during a recent earnings call, Wynn CEO Craig Billings highlighted New York as a key component. Especially if lawmakers legalize online casinos in NY.

There remain “a lot of different avenues for growth,” Billings explained. And New York is one.

“It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when,” Billings said, “and we’ll see how things play out in New York and things play out in a couple of other jurisdictions in determining the timing of the use of that land.”

Wynn still looking to develop $10 billion casino

Wynn’s earnings call came just a few days before it became public that PENN Entertainment spent $25 million to acquire its online sports betting license.

While none of the Wynn executives spoke directly to the sports betting sector, they continued to emphasize that New York remained a target.

Wynn partnered with Related Companies to potentially develop a downstate casino in Hudson Yards, a $10 billion plan that would feature a 1,700-room hotel and 250,000 square feet of casino gaming.

However, with Gov. Kathy Hochul not including licensing revenue in her Executive Budget, many believe state regulators wouldn’t announce winners until mid-2025.

“We’re always looking at what is the highest and best use of capital that we can deploy,” Billings said, “and then we’re making decisions accordingly.”

Why leave NY altogether when online casinos remain a possibility?

As noted, Wynn recently sold its NY sports betting license to PENN Entertainment, which, in turn, plans to launch ESPN Bet NY.

While that means that WynnBet will exit the online sports betting landscape in New York, Wynn will not leave the Empire State for good. After all, if Wynn does receive a downstate casino license, it would have the ability to open a retail sportsbook, at the very least, and potentially a new sports betting app if the state expands further.

More pressing, however, is a bill from Sen. Joe Addabbo that would legalize online casinos in New York and could generate over $1 billion in annual tax revenue for the state.

Again, while not directly addressing New York, some statements from Wynn executives seemingly addressed that topic.

Last year, Wynn shut down its online gambling platforms in all states it was operational except for New York and Michigan, which remain “under review,” as put by Julie Cameron-Doe, chief financial officer for Wynn.

“So we’re continuing [with] that strategic review of those two states, and we’ll stay tuned.”

Added Billings: “There’s some additional states that are moving, albeit at a relatively slow pace that might prove to be opportunities for us. We obviously don’t do every possible – every potential jurisdiction.”

Photo by Ted Shaffrey / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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