New York Lawmakers Could Allow NYC Area Casino Licensing Soon

Updated On Mar 31, 2022 by Cameron Bishop

New YorkSummary

  • Lawmakers, casino operators, and developers are pushing for casino licensing in NYC.
  • Lobbying efforts are in the six-figure range as gambling companies vie for licensing.
  • Proposals include adding a casino above Saks 5th Avenue and Times Square.

When casinos were authorized in New York State, legislation allowed for venues to open in certain areas of the state and more would be allowed by 2023. Over the past year or so, legislators as well as casino operators have been pushing for the new casino licensing to be made available now. The state was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and licensing fees for new venues would help to restore the states coffers.

We may see the licensing process open for the New York City area beginning this week if legal changes are made in the state. Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing to add a provision to the state budget that will allow the licensing process to begin now instead of waiting until next year. It is expected that by the end of this week, the provision will be approved, paving the way for casino gaming to come to NYC.


How Will the Licenses Be Distributed?

While there are technically three licenses up for grabs in New York, it is expected that MGM Resorts and Genting will receive two of the options because they already offer gaming in the area. The venues would be allowed to offer additional games and could start quickly since they are already in operation.

This leaves just one license left and a major lobbying effort is underway to gain the license. Casino pitches are coming left and right, with hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent to lobby for the license.

There is a proposal on the table to create a Monaco-style casino on top of Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as one alongside the East River. Hard Rock is even pitching an idea, with the hopes of adding a casino in Times Square. It is unclear as to which proposal might have the potential to earn the license, but we know there are plenty of options on the table.

Will Licensing Become Available?

The Governor must now push the proposal and hope that lawmakers will agree and allow the licensing process to begin. This week, the idea will be hashed out and hopefully have enough support to stay in the budget.

Democrats in the Senate are on board with the idea, as it would bring $1 billion in cash to state coffers per license. That is the proposed amount, but it is unclear if the licensing fee details will make it into the budget. We could see that detail change.

The Assembly has been known to resist gambling legislation, but now it is controlled by the Democrats, which should help the proposal move forward. The Assembly did not include casino licensing acceleration in its budget proposal but, the chamber is considering licensing as part of the negotiation process.

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Cameron works tirelessly behind the scenes ensuring his many US news stories are factual, informative and brought to you in a timely fashion before most other media outlets have them. He is an investigative journalist at heart who also has a fond interest in the money and business markets too.

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[…] Mayor Eric Adams already stated his desire for the city to win two of the three licenses, citing the huge benefits they would bring to the city’s economy as it continues to recover […]