The consortium spearheading a bid for the development of a US$3 billion casino in Coney Island, Brooklyn, remains optimistic about securing a gaming license. Comprising Global Gaming Solutions, Saratoga Casino Holdings, and Thor Equities, the alliance is undeterred by the competition. They are seeking community input for their proposal for an integrated casino resort on the Boardwalk.
In the downstate region of New York, three commercial gaming licenses are currently available. The Gaming Facility Location Board is responsible for choosing the recipient through a comprehensive review of each proposal. Economic activity and business development contribute to 70% of the evaluation, while local impact siting, workforce improvements, and diversity framework each carry a weight of 10%.
Favouring Their Chances
Paul Pippin, chief operating officer of Global Gaming Solutions, and Saratoga CEO Sam Gerrity recently shared the latest on their bid for Coney Island. The two believe that their casino pitch best satisfies the application terms set by the GFLB. Mr. Gerrity commented that the consortium can completely reactivate the whole Boardwalk area into a new entertainment district.
Recently, the bid received its first backing from a NYC Community Board, as Brooklyn’s Community Board 11 declared its support for the project. The board may represent an adjacent neighbourhood but Mr. Gerrity and Mr. Pippin shared that the development team continues to look for additional support and a recent campaign has gathered over 10k signatures from residents in the area.
Mr. Pippin shared the group continues to update its bid based on the public’s input, as they want to make sure they are taking the feedback and addressing locals’ concerns. These alarms are the usual ones when it comes to a casino, including worries that gambling leads to higher incidents of crime, bankruptcy, higher rents, and increases in property taxes.
Meanwhile, the coalition is working on dealing with other concerns from locals, one being that the integrated resort could entrap guests. But Mr. Pippen insists that an idea is allowing the casino’s loyalty program to be used at local businesses and encourage resort guests to patronize Coney Island’s established restaurants, retail shops, and boardwalk vendors.
Plenty of Competition
However, acquiring one of the licenses will not be easy for the consortium as Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World NYC are considered favourites for two of the three. Meanwhile, gambling giant Las Vegas Sands also seeks to join the state’s market by launching a multi-billion-dollar casino in Nassau County on Long Island and it is quite confident of its chances.
In the meantime, a coalition of Caesars Entertainment, SL Green, and Roc Nation have also presented a lucrative bid for a casino in the downstate region. They propose to develop a destination at the heart of Times Square. They believe the project has the potential and commitment to economic opportunity, growth, and enrichment of the community.