Could Empire Casino Finally Expand into Empire City?

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New York residents and visitors have all been wondering the same thing: when will a casino open up in Empire City?

There’s currently a handful of gambling locations upstate as well as two horse tracks in the metropolitan area, but New Yorkers along with tourists want more.

Luckily, that is bound to happen, and it’ll happen sooner rather than later. There’s already been a lot of talk about three new casinos getting licensed for the New York City area, and one of the biggest contenders is the Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts.

Current New York State Legislature on Gambling

Considering New York’s generally progressive political attitude, it’s surprising how far behind the state is when it comes to legal gambling. That’s all changing, and NY is starting to make strides when it comes to casinos and sports betting being allowed in the metropolitan area.

The state placed a ban several years back on opening new gambling venues in NYC until 2023, but Governor Kathy Hochul is making moves to revoke the law.

Her goal is to allow three casinos to start operating downstate, and gambling giants are lining up for this massive opportunity that could be worth up to $1 billion.

It was back in 2013 that voters approved the creation of seven casinos, and since then, four upstate casinos have opened. Now it’s time for the second phase, and soon, bidding will be open for three operators to open facilities in the heart of NYC.

Several operators have already submitted plans to the state’s gaming commission. Now it’s just a waiting game to see which company is granted a new license to start operating downstate.

Why New York Is Changing Its Laws

Both real estate developers and billionaires are lining up for the chance to open an NYC casino, and why wouldn’t they?

Opening a casino in the city would bring a much-needed boost to Yonkers, Queens, Long Island, Manhattan, and the state as a whole, which is especially important after the pandemic’s detrimental effects on tourism and economy.

There are plenty of benefits that come along with opening a New York Casino, especially when it comes to economic stability.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: “Many states have approved commercial casino gambling primarily because they see it as a tool for economic growth.

“The greatest perceived benefits are increased employment, greater tax revenue to state and local governments, and growth in local retail sales.”

Places like Atlantic City and Las Vegas have been reaping those benefits for a long time, and now it’s time for New York City to start doing the same.

About Empire City Casino

MGM has locations all over the country, including the Bellagio, Aria, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, and many more. One of the brand’s newer ventures is Empire City Casino, located in NY’s Yonkers neighborhood.

Like all casinos operated by MGM, Empire City Casino has so much going for it. The casino holds more than 4600 games with a huge variety of both slots and table games. It’s also home to a variety of dining experiences and live entertainment, so visitors never run out of things to do.

Giving the casino a nearly perfect score, comparison site BonusFinder’s review of BetMGM also adds that their online casino has some of the best promo codes in several states.

What’s even better is that Empire City Casino has done great things for the state, primarily in regards to employment and the economy.

MGM stated that: “We are ready to deliver thousands of new jobs for Westchester and the Bronx while generating $1 billion in new economic activity with a full gaming license.

“Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts is ready to roar.”

What’s Next for Empire City Casino?

Now that the talks of opening a city-based casino are underway, Empire City Casino is jumping at the opportunity. While the Yonkers location does quite well, it’s nothing compared to how a location in the heart of the Big Apple would perform.

NYC has often been called the “crown jewel” of the gambling sector, and up until recently, it’s been an untapped market.

With a growing population of 20 million and a constant tourism stream, “crown jewel” is an understatement, and Empire City knows that better than anyone.

Potential Locations for NYC Casinos

With limited space in New York City, one of the biggest questions is where would the new casino be located? As of right now, there are 3 potential locations lined up:

Citi Field

The area surrounding the Mets home field has a lot of potential when it comes to real estate development. Breaking land in Queens near the field is one viable option, and Steven Cohen (the team owner) is completely on board.

Times Square

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Times Square already has an electric nightlife scene and huge tourist draw, so it only makes sense for this to be the location for a new gambling site.

There’s already plans for a Hard Rock Hotel to open up in April 2023, so many people are wondering if a Hard Rock Casino is the next item on the agenda.

Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in US history, making it the perfect option for a new gambling facility. There’s a lot of potential here, especially since it’s located near Penn Station.

What Happens Next?

As of right now, Empire City in Yonkers and Resorts World in Queens are the frontrunners in the race to open a site in NYC. The city’s decision will most likely take place in April 2023 with the year’s budget negotiations.

Now it’s simply a waiting game, but we’re all hoping for great things when it comes to NYC’s gambling scene. The city could certainly use an economic boost, and a brand new gambling resort would help to achieve that!

 

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About the Author: Brian Novak