Casino News

NYC Underground Casino Pitch Attracts Local Opposition

Soloviev Group is after a commercial casino license in downstate New York. However, the company‘s proposal for an underground casino on the east side of Manhattan, near Midtown, has faced some significant opposition from residents. Those locals have made their feelings known to officials and gambling developers in a recent community meeting.

Last year, American billionaire Stefan Soloviev shared his aspirations of launching a casino resort on land he already owns, from E. 38th to E. 41st streets. Located between First Avenue and F.D.R. Drive, and close to the United Nations building. For the project, the businessman selected Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun as a gambling operator.

Key Points from the Community Meeting

In the community meeting, developers claimed they wanted to build the proposed gaming facility underground, with its entrance from the FDR. The space above ground would be then used as a green area for the public. It would also include restaurants, hotels, and new apartments with a model portion of its devoted to providing affordable housing.

Manhattan East Community Association President Kevin O’Keefe said the gaming project is slated to be underground, and the above ground would be used for green space. But still, residents disagreed. One local shared concern about the children and schools and said that such a property is not desired in the neighbourhood and that it does not fit the location.

New York State Sen. Kristen Gonzalez, who represents Midtown East noted the state is having town hall collect as much feedback as possible on the matter if the proposal is approved. But it should be noted that even if accepted by NY, the launch of a gambling venue in Midtown East or anywhere else in the area could and most likely take several years.

Licenses Attract Plenty of Interest

Over of dozen candidates have already emerged as applicants for the three available licenses. However, Resorts World New York City in Queens and Empire City Casino in Yonkers are believed to have the upper hand against other proposals. This is due to already being operational Class II casinos and having some significant community backing for their expansion into Class III properties.

Another major candidate is Las Vegas Sands, which seeks to build an integrated casino resort in Nassau County on Long Island. For its project, the gambling giant has already acquired the lease of the site, currently occupied by the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Besides world-class gaming, the resort would also include outdoor spaces, restaurants and a hotel, and a live entertainment venue.

Meanwhile, another industry leader, Caesars Entertainment is also after a license and has teamed up with SL Green and Roc Nation. The consortium has set sights on launching Caesars Palace Times Square in Manhattan. The trifecta has already received support from a broad coalition of Times Square stakeholders, while others still oppose it.

Source: “NYC casino proposal underground faces strong opposition from Midtown residentsYahoo, January 12, 2024