NYSGC Releases Responses From Interested Parties For Downstate Casino Licenses

Written By Mike Mazzeo on December 15, 2021
Downstate NY casino licenses

The New York State Gaming Commission released responses from interested parties regarding its request for information on the three remaining downstate casino licenses. 

The following casino corporations submitted their responses to the NYSGC. They were released on Wednesday and many were heavily redacted. Here’s the relevant information.

Interested corporations aspire to build downstate NY casino

MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International already has the Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) at Empire City in Yonkers. There is support to make that a full-fledged casino. 

UE Resorts International (Universal)

Universal would like to build a $3 billion futuristic casino in Manhattan. Local politicians have been adamantly opposed to any casino going into Manhattan, however, and even the best lobbying efforts could wind up falling short. 

Las Vegas Sands Corporation

Mets’ owner Steve Cohen has had talks with Las Vegas Sands about the possibility of a casino going up next to Citi Field in Queens. 

Wynn Resorts Development

Earlier this year, the New York Post reported that Wynn, Bally’s Corporation and Las Vegas Sands were all positioning themselves as potential players for a downstate casino. 

In its report, Wynn writes:

It will likely take three or four years to develop these facilities, including design, local approvals, and construction (based on an issuance of the RFA on July 1, 2022, and then a 210-day process to select the three licensees).

Rush Street Gaming (Rivers)

Rush Street already has an existing upstate casino, Rivers, in Schenectady, and would like to add another downstate. 

In its report, Rush Street writes:

We humbly as the Commission to give Rush Street Gaming an opportunity to duplicate Downstate what we have already accomplished in the Capital Region of New York and across North America. … We would love for our eighth (casino) to be in Downstate New York.

Genting New York LLC (Resorts World)

Resorts World already has the VLT in Queens. There is support to make that a full-fledged casino. 

Hard Rock International

Hard Rock would like to build a casino in or near New York City, chairman Jim Allen said in October at a gaming conference in Atlantic City. Hard Rock also could plan for a North Jersey casino as well, Allen told The Associated Press. 

Bally’s Corporation

Bally’s, BetMGM, WynnBet, Rush Street and Resorts World were all among the nine sports betting operators selected by the NYSGC.  

Various other organizations and local politicians also submitted responses in support or opposition of particular casino project possibilities.

Potential timeline for a final decision to be reached

As per the NYSGC’s RFI document issued Oct. 20, the NYSGC has six months to prepare a report for the governor and the state legislature. 

At this point, it is up to the governor and state legislature how to proceed on the new New York casinos. It will be interesting to see if casinos are included in any of their budget proposals. 

For its part, the Hotel & Gaming Trades Council wrote: 

The timeline of this entire process (RFA issuance, submission of applications, and awarding of licenses) should take no longer than six months; three months to submit an application and three months to select awardees. The 2014 process was initially slated to follow a six-month timeline, but rather became a nearly nine-month process. For expediency’s sake to create good jobs and generate tax revenues as quickly as possible, a six-month timeline should be adhered to. 

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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