Could New York City Get Real Casinos Soon?

Posted on April 11, 2019, 5:11 pm
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Is New York City the future hub of real casinos? At least that is what seems to be on the minds of the State officials with the city’s upstate gambling places going through their hardest times.

A meeting was seen arranged between the gaming brand tycoons and the legislators in Albany.

It also saw the Assembly Speaker, Carl E. Heastie promoting a new idea of introducing three full gaming casinos in the city area itself.

According to the senators, pushing this proposal could fetch the state millions of cash every year, besides creating hundreds of fresh job opportunities. They also anticipate a financial cure for the NY in a time when the “collapse of the Amazon deal in Queens” and the financial crunch to repair the dilapidated subways are gaining the concern.

While one proposal shed light on the plan of changing the Aqueduct Raceway, including Long Island and Yonkers Raceway into full-fledged casinos, the other talked about a bidding proposal for three licenses for a new gambling center somewhere outside of Manhattan.

The Assembly chairperson and the Senate gaming crew have shown their vivid support for bringing new gaming possibilities in New York City and the Speaker. Carl E. Heastie is totally calm with the escalated proposal. However, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has remained dubious to the idea of a State level expansion at this level.

Also, the Senate Democrats head, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, has not revealed any information about the physical location of the new proposed casinos.

As NY had an agreement not to issue any new gambling license till 2023, the three gaming companies have come up with a proposal of $100 million for compensating the remote casino gambling operators. Also, each of the brands has offered to pay a minimum of $500 million to the State to invest in the downstate market.

This proposal has instantly received an acclamation by Gary Pretlow, an Assemblyperson and the leader of the Racing and Wagering Committee, who says this amount of $500 would definitely add to the year’s budget owing to the kind of financial crisis New York City is currently going through.

Also, the upstate casinos have agreed to the all-new expansion plan.

But the plan has experienced its biggest climbing issue from the State Assembly liberal democrats in Albany. According to them, pushing this plan ahead will incur a tax burden on the state.

Mr. Coumo has clearly expressed his skepticism about opening new gambling hubs inside NY until 2023 albeit he has not discarded the proposal completely. He seems to be more keen on proposals from Sheldon Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands and supporter of Republican Politicians, who is honing a future plan of opening an opulent casino in New York City.

David Paterson, the former governor has already been selected by the company to plead for the project. According to Mr. Paterson, having a luxury gambling hub in a pivotal city like NY would definitely invite more global tourists to flock every year.

Recently in an interview, he also stated that the proposal should have reached him in his tenure of work when NY was sunk under a shortage of $21 billion.

He also mentioned about the deficits in the state budget, the lower income tax revenue and the roadblocks in the legalization of marijuana and other plans for creating alternative revenue gateways.

Due to this impending downfall, the last week has seen the governor and the lawmakers flagging green signal for what can be called the pied-a-terre tax. This new scheme targets the super-affluent second homes in New York City.

Further, the external pressure from the neighboring states has also NY in stress. For example, New Jersey has been on-board with its expanded betting plans and intrastate support. The Mayor in Yonker is indicating approval for livedealer table games at the Empire City casino that is still working with slot machines. Also, the Westchester Business Council was found speaking of the impact of the Empire city.

As per both the MGM Resorts, owner of the Yonkers Raceway and the Genting Group, a leading operator of the Resorts World racino at Aqueduct, they could convert their current base into fully operating casinos in a few months only, contrary to any outside organization that needs to position itself and manage its every undertaking from the scratch.

According to the Genting Group spokesperson, Michael Levoff, the Resorts World racino is just an authorization away to make its move as a reliable operator that has already generated more than $2 billion revenue in the seven years.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas Sands seems to be feeding on its construction appeal and negotiation with a friendly union duo that will be pushing the accord an extra mile. Part of these supporters were the Building Construction and Trades Council, whose president has earlier advocated the promotion of the downstate casinos to improve the state’s drooping revenue condition.

However, the Business Council of New York has already sent a petition to Mr. Cuomo in favor of their expansion plans stating that it could immediately bring $1.5 billion in the empty revenue basket. The council also admitted that their project was opposed to “any quick-fix approach to convert existing racinos”. Hence, they appealed bidding.

When it came to taking the gaming initiatives, the state has always staggered and procrastinated in delivering an agreement. NY only saw the first modern franchises after the Supreme Court declared the right to the Native Americans in 1980 and 1990s, including a compact in 1993 with the then governor Mario M. Cuomo.

Finally, in 2004 the state saw racinos opening and expanding to nine different locations. In 2013, a legislation bond signed by Mr. Cuomo brought another seven full-operational casinos in the State despite the caveat about overloading. Also, that time the governor committed that facilities will have got the upstate covered before downstate. He also promised for no more license grant before 2023.

But the newly licensed 4 casinos were far from their income projections. And two of them werethe del Lago Resort and Casino which already received a debt warning and the Empire Resorts owned Resorts World Catskills that has incurred huge losses last year.

Mr. Cuomo allowed all these upstate casinos, the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Resorts World Catskills, Tioga Downs Casino Resort and Rivers Casino, to offer sports wagering with a single sign off. But these facilities prevented mobile sports wagering, already gripped by New Jersey.

It was the time when the governor seemed to acknowledge the importance of a casino in New York and recommended competitive bidding that could take the price insanely higher than the proposed $500 million by the Genting and the MGM.

It was a transparent appeal for the casino companies siting hints towards an uncountable number of potential traffic to NY, including an estimated 65 million yearly visitors.

According to the Sands spokesman, Ron Reese, the state has an enormous demographic opportunity, the best-kept-secret for the success of the multi-billion dollar casino business properties.

In fact, Mr. Cuomo has addressed a NY casino as “the golden franchise of the gambling games.

The governor simply emphasized the value of a competitive bidding process to bring the New Yorkers the best quotation.

Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym of the publisher, managing the content and operations of The Bronx Times.™ / Bronx.com - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "The" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.