In the American state of New York and a local restauranteur has reportedly submitted a proposal that could see an ‘upscale Monte Carlo-style’ casino opened along the East River of Manhattan.
According to a Wednesday report from the New York Post newspaper, the proposition from Michael ‘Buzzy’ O’Keeffe was just one of at least nine to have been recently submitted to the New York State Gaming Commission and calls for a 24,000 sq ft facility featuring gaming tables but no slots to be constructed on a site located along East 30th Street. The businessman is responsible for the adjacent The Water Club floating restaurant and purportedly stated that his planned midtown Manhattan development, which is to also encompass an adjacent 100-space parking garage, would become immediately popular as high-rollers traveled in via a nearby heliport and private ferry service.
The voters of New York reportedly passed a state constitutional amendment in 2013 that resulted in the premiere of four ‘upstate’ commercial casino resorts encompassing the Resorts World Catskills, Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady, Tioga Downs Casino Resort and Del Lago Resort and Casino. However, this measure purportedly moreover enacted a ten-year moratorium on the opening of any ‘downstate’ counterparts for ‘The Empire State’ despite analysis suggesting that a trio of such facilities could well generate up to $630 million in aggregated annual revenues.
As this standstill set to expire in just two years’ time, the New York State Gaming Commission reportedly launched an official information-finding ‘request for expressions of interest’ exercise recently that saw gambling giants including Wynn Resorts Limited, Hard Rock International and Las Vegas Sands Corporation lodge official plans. The source noted that this effort could eventually result in the slots-only Resorts World New York City from Genting Malaysia Berhad as well as MGM Resorts International’s similarly-limited Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway venues being transformed into full-blown casino resorts along with a large gambling-friendly development for either Suffolk County, Nassau County, Westchester County, Rockland County or Putnam County.
Regarding his own official scheme and O’Keeffe reportedly asserted that Manhattan ‘is the most viable location to place a smaller boutique-style casino’ and that his proposal would be ‘easily expandable’ due to the fact that its riverside setting would allow an operator to ‘open a deep-water pier’ and simply ‘float in a custom casino’. The restauranteur purportedly went on to proclaim that New York City ‘should have a beautiful and upscale casino’ and that a project such as his would ‘end up as the hottest casino in the world’.
Reportedly read a statement from O’Keeffe…
“This would be an upscale Monte Carlo-style casino on the East Side, mid-Manhattan and very visible along FDR Drive on the East River. Building on the waterfront is far less expensive than building in midtown Manhattan. It is the easiest deal for the state and the city to make as it already exists and is ready to go.”
The New York Post finished by reporting that the New York State Gaming Commission has now ended its fact-finding exercise and is getting down to working out just how to select who should be given the rights to run the proposed trio of ‘downstate’ casinos. Once the formalities are in place, the six-member body purportedly hopes to be able to name the three licensees within six months.