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MGM Resorts Shares Plans of NY Downstate Casino

MGM Resorts, which already operates in New York State via Empire City Casino, has recently hinted at plans for further expansion in operations. Most recently, the company shared its plans to apply for one of the three downstate casino licenses for downstate New York. However, in order to get its hands on one of those, the operator must first go through an application process.

Last month, New York legislators officially included the acceleration of the downstate casino licenses in this year’s fiscal budget. This will allow to fast-track the process by at least a year and issue the three licenses earlier. So far, the company’s Empire City Casino and Genting Malaysia’s Resorts World NYC are among the favorites to land two of the three.

Multi-Billion Project

In an investor call this week, MGM Resorts’ CEO and President William Hornbuckle shared a few of the company’s ideas for the expansion. Mr. Hornbuckle shared that the operator was hopeful to invest several billion dollars in the first round of the expansion to put the venue at the top of the business, as well as secure a much-need parking garage at the NYC property.

However, the CEO did not specify exactly how many billions the company plans on investing in the upgrade of its Yonkers gaming amenity. But the team did provide some details on it. For instance, the company wants to replace video lottery terminals with actual slot machines. Table games and other amenities will be added as well, said the CEO.

Mr. Hornbuckle believes that the full-scale casino would attract the kind of market that is available to the venue in the neighborhoods and in the surrounding areas. But he indicates that the company will get its head around the master plan for the casino, as they are working on it right now. He says that is a billion-dollar project, and the team needs to be thoughtful about how it will be finished.

Probably the most important step for the company is to get its hands on one of the three licenses and get the nod from the New York State Gaming Commission, before moving on with the plan. The operator is set to face some major competition for the licenses, as so far, many gaming names have expressed interest in launching a casino in downstate New York.

Other Potential Sites

Besides the Yonkers casino, Resorts World New York City in Queens is the other rumored favorite for a full-scale commercial license. According to a recent statement from CGS-CIMB Research, Genting Malaysia’s amenity is in pole position, as it would be able to expand quicker and therefore bring in more revenue that the rest of the candidates.

Earlier this month, Assemblymember Amanda Septimo came up with the idea of having one of the commercial casinos in The Bronx, and more specifically at the Hunts Point waterfront. Ms. Septimo said that she pitched the idea to Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. He represents the area, and seems to be open to the idea of launching a potential casino.

Source: Sperance, Cameron “MGM Resorts hints at plans for multibillion-dollar New York casino”, ThePointsGuy, May 4, 2022