The race for the 3 highly covered casino licenses in the Empire State is expected to commence in earnest in 2023. Some of the country’s largest developers have worked around the clock to submit bids worth billions of dollars in an effort to improve their chances of being picked.
One of these operators that have submitted their bids includes the iconic Las Vegas Sands. The New York Gaming Facility Location Board announced the application process at the start of the year. The 3 casino licenses up for grabs include casinos in Westchester and Long Island.
Not too long ago, Las Vegas Sands and strategic partner RXR Reality plans to construct a development worth approximately $4 billion. The Sands’ casino facility would sit on almost 80 acres in Uniondale, next to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. According to Ron Reese the senior VP of the Sands, the brand has already agreed to purchase the lease for the site in preparation for the bidding process.
If the Sands’ proposal is accepted, the established brand intends to construct a large casino, an outdoor community space, as well as world-class hotel rooms. For Sands to bring its vision to life, it must first receive approval from the Nassau County Legislature. The Sands also needs to prove that its proposal also contains traditional game options such as blackjack, poker, slot games, and an array of other electronic casino games.
In order to be considered, the qualifying bid needs a hefty capital investment of at least $500 million. If successfully selected, the qualified bids will be required to pay the state a gambling license fee of not less than $500 million. Before any of the bidders can be considered for the project, they must appear before a 6-member community advisory committee and convince them to back their proposals.
Which other casinos are interested in constructing a casino?
While the gaming commission in charge of the selection process believes that all the 3 casino licenses in the state are competitive, 2 of the sought-after licenses will likely be awarded to already existing facilities in southwestern Queens and Yonkers. This leaves just one license that will be distributed among interested developers.
Apart from Las Vegas Sands, developers all over the state in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, as well as Long Island don’t mind having to part with the mandatory application fee of $1 million. Although the atmosphere in the market is already intense, the developers have to wait for a few months before the formal bids are submitted.
Since the announcement was made by the Gaming Facility Location Board, each of the interested developers have been campaigning for support from the public. Wynn, for example, has proposed the construction of a new casino in the Midtown East area that will feature a massive Ferris wheel and lush green spaces.
According to Jon Weinstein of Hudson Yards, the developing company that will help Wynn Resorts bring its proposed facility to life, the casino in the Midtown area will not be casino centric. Rather, Wynn intends to create an entertainment hotspot where gambling is only a small portion of the overall experience.
Wynn’s proposal recommends the creation of a convention and entertainment center that will help to revive the otherwise dowdy area of New York. Wynn has serious plans to transform the undeveloped train yard situated next to the Javits Center into a convention and entertainment center.
According to Jeff Blau the CEO of Related, Wynn intends to debut the most high-end casino facility in New York. Wynn’s casino will include at least 20 restaurants, a club, as well as at least 1500 hotel rooms. In addition to the casino hotel, Wynn also intends to construct a school, as well as affordable housing for the locals.
Caesars Entertainment teamed up with SL Green Realty on a bid that suggests converting one of its properties into a premier casino hotel. SL Green Realty has proposed converting its 54-story office tower into a casino hotel complete with more than 950 rooms. The building, which is located at 1515 Broadway has also housed the “The Lion King” musical for years.
SL Green Realty plans to collaborate with Jay’z agency Roc Nation to being their designs to life. The developer has plans to convert the Lion King venue to include a more attractive entrance. The casino, as well as the convention center, would, on the other hand, be situated from the 2nd to the 8th floor.
According to Ceasars and its partner, bringing new casinos in New York will no doubt help to invigorate the city. SL Green projects that its development will create thousands of new jobs not just during the development periods but once the casino hotel is complete it will also employ more hotel staff.
Plus, adding a new casino in the Times Square area will go a long way in bringing tourists to the hotspot at a time when local entertainment options like Broadway are still struggling to gain footing after the devastating pandemic.
In Midtown East, the Soloviev Group has proposed to construct a casino that has residential towers and a casino hotel that can accommodate at least 1000 people. The Soloviev Group’s proposal includes 2 apartment towers with at least 1500 rental units. The Group would also construct a soccer field for the public to be situated on the East River.
Developer Thor Equities has also teamed up with Saratoga Casino Holdings to construct a 5-acre development site in Coney Island. Thor Equities’ proposal includes a roller coaster, an indoor water park, museums, and a hotel. Thor hopes that the new development will attract more visitors to the region, which primarily receives seasonal visitors.
Once approved, the developers mentioned above stand to operate some of the highest-grossing casino facilities in the entire country. The Empire State already boasts 4 licensed casinos upstate that are operated by Native American tribes with assistance from their partners. Establishing new casino facilities in New York will not only create more job opportunities but also attract high-stakes gambling clients from all over the world.