New York Bettors Have Casinos Closer to Big Apple on Horizon

New York Bettors Have Casinos Closer to Big Apple on Horizon
By Lou Monaco

Friday will mark an important day for New York sports betting and its future.

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) deadline for a Request for Information for Unawarded Commercial Casino Licenses will be at the end of business day Friday as it aims to open three casinos in the metropolitan New York City region.

The NYSGC put out a 14-page document in October that detailed steps to discover preliminary interest for potential casinos around the Big Apple.

Now, after a month and a half, interested parties must respond by Friday. Just don’t expect an announcement that same day.

In a Wednesday e-mail response to NewYorkBets.com, NYSGC communications director Brad Maione said: “Historically we have posted casino-related material online after we apply whatever redactions accompany the submissions. We are likely to follow that process. As you can see from the RFI, we asked for opinions not just of those who are likely to seek a license, but of all interested and affected people and entities.”


New Casinos Would Balance State

New York already has four upstate casinos: Del Lago Casino in Waterloo, Tioga Downs in Nichols, Resorts World in Monticello and Rivers Casino in Schenectady. These three new potential casino licenses are the last ones authorized as part of a 2013 ballot measure.

The casinos are proposed as a spur to economic development and are backed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Her predecessor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pushed these measures as well.

There has been one official announcement of interest and it came Wednesday, when Okada Manila International, a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment and an affiliate of the operator of Okada Manila, and 26 Capital Acquisition made clear intentions to submit plans by Friday.

Where Would New Casinos Land?

An October story in the New York Post reported that two of the three licenses could go to gaming facilities already approved to run slot machines: The MGM Resorts-owned Empire City Casino in Yonkers and the Resorts World Aqueduct Casino in Queens. That Aqueduct entry, owned by Genting, recently added a hotel and plans to expand to a true casino with card games.

Previously, the Post had reported that big names like Bally’s Corp., Wynn Resort and Las Vegas Sands want to compete for New York City-area licenses. Those potential casino locations could include anywhere in New York City, Nassau-Suffolk in Long Island and Westchester-Rockland-Putnam counties north of the city.

Other potential sites, the Post reported, include Willets Point in Queens, where Mets owner Steve Cohen leases the Citi Field ballpark and adjoining parking lots; the Belmont Park development in Long Island, home to the Belmont Park racetrack and UBS Arena, the new home of the New York Islanders; and Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood.

A recent study by the NYSGC estimated that three new downstate casinos could generate somewhere between $420 million and $630 million in revenue per year.

Meanwhile, the race goes on to get mobile sports betting launched in New York. It will happen almost certainly before the Feb. 13 Super Bowl.

The nine operators, chosen on Nov. 8, are: The Empire State’s providers and operators are: FanDuel NY, DraftKingsNY, BetMGM NY, Bally Bet, Rush Street Interactive (parent company of BetRivers), Caesars, WynnBET, PointsBet and Resorts World.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco has been a columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas and has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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