Yet Another Downstate New York Casino Proposal Emerges For Manhattan

Written By Grant Lucas on November 28, 2022
Downstate New York Casinos Proposal Manhattan 9 West 57th Street Ferris Wheel Stefan Soloviev

The Manhattan area now has another interested party to build a casino in the area.

As first reported by Bloomberg, real estate developer Stefan Soloviev has his sights set on entering the New York casinos landscape. The billionaire owner of 9 West 57th Street has entered into discussions with Las Vegas-based companies to develop land south of the United Nations.

The plan, if awarded one of the three new downstate NY casino licenses, would be to open a 1,000-room hotel complete with a four-acre park, Ferris wheel and museum.

Soloviev looks to develop Manhattan parcel into NY casino

In 2000, Sheldon Solow, a prominent New York real estate developer and art collector, purchased a nine-acre parcel for $600 million. That acquisition from Consolidated Edison is now at the disposal of Soloviev, the son of the now-late Solow.

Following the sale of some pieces of that land and one development, Soloviev now has six acres available for this casino project.

That area will certainly have plenty of foot traffic. And Soloviev looks to make the location a can’t-miss place to be.

On top of the casino gaming, Soloviev intends to build a Ferris wheel. Other developers have attempted to install such an attraction. Those efforts, notably proposed just across the Hudson River, failed to gain traction.

But that has not hindered Soloviev’s plans. Still, while the billionaire owner has entered the planning stages, he has some competition for the area.

Other NY casino plans in play for Manhattan

Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars, recently told PlayNY that his company is dead-set on opening a New York casino in Manhattan. Partnered with developer SL Green, Caesars believes a casino in the area would “be a home run.”

In fact, when it comes to a NY casino for Caesars, it’s Manhattan or nothing.

The same might be said for Wynn, working alongside Related for a casino at Hudson Yards. Any project in the area expects to face significant community and political opposition. Which Reeg acknowledged, saying that “we know it’s an uphill climb for anybody to earn a license.”

Casino owner and real estate titan Jeff Gural told PlayNY earlier this year that any plans to build a casino in Manhattan stand “no shot” at actually happening. Why? According to him, the public doesn’t want a casino there, nor do politicians. A casino in Manhattan, Gural said, “doesn’t do anything for the city.”

Plenty of interest for what could be one NY casino license

Video lottery terminals Resorts World NYC and Empire City Casino expect to receive two of the three downstate NY casino licenses. If such is the case, that obviously leaves a single license remaining.

In addition to the aforementioned groups jockeying for licensing, there also exists several others. Steve Cohen, owner of the New York Mets, seems to have aligned with Hard Rock to build a casino in Willets Point. More recently, Thor Equities built out its team to propose a casino in Coney Island.

All proposals, of course, must face community advisory committees, which will review all pertinent local bids. Prior to approval, these groups will gauge community interest and go through proper zoning processes.

Only after all that will bids go to the Gaming Facility Location Board for potential licensing. A long road still lays ahead. But the players are already getting the action going.

Photo by AP / Mark Lennihan; PlayNY
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the senior 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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