Casino News

Stefan Soloviev Eyes Downstate Casino License in NY

Yet another candidate has emerged who is interested in joining the New York State’s casino industry, and his name is Stefan Soloviev. The real estate developer has expressed interest in one of the three available downstate casino licenses and has allegedly already started discussions with Las Vegas brands to potentially develop one south of the United Nations in Manhattan.

In April 2022, the Empire State’s administration voted in favour of fast-tracking the three available downstate casino licenses that were included in the fiscal budget. Prior to that, there was a moratorium on the licenses, which was introduced to allow the upstate ones to adjust to the local gaming landscape. However, experts and lawmakers believe that this is no longer required.

Soloviev’s Bid

Just recently reports from the state emerged claiming that Mr. Soloviev is interested in bringing one of the casino licenses to Manhattan, NYC. If the billionaire’s bid comes to fruition and he lands the commercial licenses, his plan is to launch a casino complemented by a 1,000-room hotel, a four-acre park, a Ferris wheel, and a museum, south of the United Nations building.

Back in 2000, the popular New York real estate developer and art collector acquired a nine-acre parcel for about US$600 million. That acquisition from Consolidate Edison is now at Mr. Soloviev’s disposal. And after the sale of pieces of the land, the son of Mr. Solow, now has six acres available, which he plans to use for a potential casino project.

Mr. Soloviev’s plan is to make the site exciting and a can’t-miss place to be. As mentioned, he wants to install a Ferris wheel, however, other developers who have already proposed such an attraction have failed to gain support. But that has not affected the billionaire who plans to proceed and has now entered discussions with potential casino partners from Las Vegas.

Facing Severe Competition

Still, it should be noted, that Mr. Soloviev will face some major competition when it comes to acquiring a commercial downstate license. For instance, in October, it was reported that SL Green Realty Corporation and Caesars Entertainment have teamed up to bring a gaming property to Times Square at 1515 Broadway, at the SL Green skyscraper near West 44th Street.

But in order to be into consideration, their bid would need local support. That is why the two companies have already started to actively try to convince local restaurants, retailers, and construction workers to get on board. However, not everyone is a fan of the idea, the Broadway League sent an email to its members, stating that it will not tolerate a casino in the area.

Another one of the potential applicants is Thor Equities, which eyes Coney Island as a potential location for a casino property. Again, a potential issue for the company would be to obtain community support for the project, which currently lacks. According to sources, the company has been working on the bid for a while, but it remains to be seen whether it would be selected.