Location, location, location: Real estate and gaming companies jockey for position in NY
Legalized gambling could spark a modern day gold rush in New York.
Earlier this year, legislators in the state of New York approved a bipartisan constitutional amendment allowing up to seven privately-owned casinos to have table gaming, including roulette and poker. However, before gambling can be legalized, elected officials in the Senate and Assembly must also authorize a second legislative vote before the measure can be brought before voters on a statewide ballot in November 2013.
Should the legislation be approved, many have speculated that New York City, more specifically, Queens, will be one of up to seven sites chosen for a new casino. Others predict that most, if not all the casinos would be located in upstate New York and in the Catskills.
The prospect alone has drawn several big-name suitors to the party: MGM, Wynn Resorts, Caesars, Boyd Gaming Company and Sands, in addition to several in-state casino groups, have been quietly lobbying local politicians and developers for a ‘piece of the action’ should Gov. Cuomo continue to support legalized gambling. Whether or not any of these future casinos will be located at racetracks is uncertain.
Cuomo told reporters at a June 4 press conference that having a casino close to New York City is “important”. But he was also against the idea of awarding racino owners with one of the casino licenses.
“I 100% oppose that,” the governor added. “I believe it should be an open competition, where we bring in the best companies and we get the best deal for the taxpayer that we can get. I don’t believe the racinos have any claim for primacy.”