Now that mobile sports betting is live in New York State, proponents of casino gaming are pushing to see the New York City area receive licensing approval for commercial gaming. Lawmakers along with the casino workers union have called the governor to action as well as members of the legislature. The goal is to see the licenses issued so the state can benefit from fees and thousands of much-needed jobs will be created.
Senator Gary Pretlow Involved
Long-time gambling advocate, Senator Gary Pretlow, is hopeful that the licensing process will start soon. In a recent statement, Pretlow said that seeing the licensing issued is now at the top of his agenda. Pretlow serves as the chairman of the New York Assembly Committee on Gaming and Wagering.
It is expected that the Empire City slot parlor operated by MGM Resorts and the Resorts World by Genting properties will receive two of the three licenses. Right now, these two properties are only allowed to offer slot-type video lottery games. With the addition of slots and table games, the gaming venues would be able to bring in more tourists as well as revenues.
Senator Joe Addabbo is also on board, agreeing that licensing needs to happen this year. He feels that the licensing fees revenues should be added to the state budget. The licensing could bring as much as $750 million to the state.
What about the Third License?
If the two existing gaming venues receive a license, what will come of the third one? For Senator Addabbo, he is supportive of the license going to Long Island or even New York City or the northern suburbs. He does not feel that Manhattan should be considered as it is already a popular tourist area.
There is plenty of interest in licensing with a request for expressions of interest started by the Gaming Commission beginning last year. Such companies as the Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, and Hard Rock International replied.
Other requests were also sent in, including one by a local restauranteur named Michael O’Keefe. For this proposal, the restaurant owner would create a 24,000 square foot facility with table games but avoid slot options.
O’Keefe would like to create a gaming venue in midtown Manhattan so that it would appeal to high rollers. He feels that gamblers that use the private ferry service and heliport nearby would be open to visiting a premium table game facility.
It is unclear for now as to who would be awarded the third license. No matter who is chosen, it will be a large property that will see major changes in the New York City area once completed.