Casino News

Downstate Casino Expansion Set to Bring in Thousands of NY Jobs

Many industries have been hard hit by the unprecedented situation over the last few years, and the New York hospitality and the gambling ones are no exceptions. However, there are some good on the horizon for the sectors. At the start of the month lawmakers officially included the fast-tracking of downstate casino licenses, which should secure more local jobs.

A few years ago, the Empire State put a moratorium on the three downstate casino licenses, as a way of allowing upstate ones to adjust to the local gaming scene. Currently, MGM Resorts’ Empire City Casino and Genting Malaysia’s Resorts World NYC are two of the rumored names to be awarded a license and be expanded into full-scale casino properties.

A Win-Win Scenario

The New York Hotel and Gaming Trades Council is one of the organizations that is hopeful to see an increase of jobs in the state with the introduction of the three downstate commercial casino licenses. If both Empire City Casino and Resorts World NYC are expanded into full-scale casinos, then they would be able to provide thousands of quick and much needed jobs in the region.

President of the council, Rich Maroko stated that the impact of the virus has been quite severe on the hotel and tourism sectors. He describes the downstate licenses as a win-win situation, as it would increase casino offerings while also providing high-quality gaming and hospitality jobs. He thanked Gov. Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Heastie, all lawmakers for making it possible.

Resorts World NYC is one the council’s largest employers, as it provides jobs with full benefits and salaries averaging in the US$80,000 range. The gaming property’s expansion is also supported by Sen. Joe Addabbo. He shared that he wants to see the expansion as soon as possible as it would provide much needed jobs in construction and post-construction.

The other candidate Empire City Casino, will, however, need some time to expand into a full-scale casino as it would need to build a structured parking garage. That is, if the property gets one of the licenses. But with only 97 acres of land in Westchester Country, the property will find it difficult to build one for its potential expansion.

Budget Now Approved

At the start of April, New York State legislators have voted to officially include the fast-tracking of the three downstate casino licenses. Approved companies by the New York State Gaming Commission would be required to pay over US$500 million in registration fees to fully acquire the license. The decision will now accelerate the process by at least a year.

However, shortly prior to the official announcement of the budget, Mr. Addabbo informed that the other heavily discussed gaming expansion has been left out. The Senator himself wanted to have an increase in mobile sportsbook in the state, and booster their number from nine to 16. He explained that lawmaker analyzed the topic and decided to put the increase on hold, as the current model is quite efficient.