As three Class III licenses are up for grabs in the downstate area of New York, companies and individuals are coming out of the woodwork to make suggestions. Borough President Vito Fossella wants to see developers give Staten Island and chance and bring a casino to the region.
A press conference was hosted earlier this week by Fossella proposing that Staten Island be considered as a location for a casino license. The borough president provided key points during the conference as to why he thinks the area would be good for gambling.
Consider Staten Island a Destination Point
During the conference, Fossella pointed out that Staten Island is one of a handful of places that doesn’t offer some form of gambling for downstate residents or visitors. He feels that the area should be considered a destination and utilized for casino gaming.
The conference was hosted at the Empire Outlets, an area that overlooks the New York Wheel project. The failed project is the area where Fossella feels a casino could be placed. A casino and a hotel such as what the Mohegan Sun offers would offer nice views and of course, gaming.
Fossella continued to mention the views and amenities, stating that the other players that are being considered already have casinos and racetracks. Staten Island would provide something different, and he wants to see casino operators do their due diligence and visit.
A Bit Early
While the idea seems like a good one, the borough president may have jumped the gun so to speak when it comes to the New York Wheel site being used for a casino. Fossella has not spoken to the company that owns the site or the Gaming Commission.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation owns the site, and it is unclear if they would be interested in selling the land or using the land for casino gaming. The project was initially supposed to create the tallest observation wheel but fell through by October 2018.
The project was supposed to cost $250 million to complete but soon ballooned to $1 billion, which was just too much. Investments had already been made to create a much smaller wheel, and that could still happen, according to Fossella. He feels the land could be used for the smaller observation wheel and a casino.
It could essentially create a bigger attraction that would pull in more guests and create an area such as Las Vegas for travelers in downstate New York.