A new casino option may soon be coming to the Big Apple. Las Vegas Sands Corp. has an eye toward building a megaresort casino on Long Island if the company can secure the opportunity via bidding for one of three downstate New York casino licenses.
The company announced some of its plans in January, which included agreements to purchase the long-term lease of the area currently home to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. If the plan goes forward, Sands would gain access to up to 80 acres in Nassau County for a potential casino resort.
Along with the casino, Sands officials envision an integrated resort with outdoor community spaces, four- and five-star hotel rooms, a live performance venue, restaurants, convention space, day spa, swimming pool and health club, and more
“We strongly believe Long Island can be home to one of the region’s great entertainment and hospitality developments,” Sands chairman and CEO Robert G. Goldstein said in a news release. “Our announcement today is only the first part of this journey. Our ability to put forward a compelling and competitive proposal will only succeed if we engage with the Long Island community and, in collaboration, develop a proposal that reflects the input of all those involved.”
Beyond Sand, several other companies have also detailed their own plans for a potential casino in the city.
Bidding for New York casino operations
New York already has numerous gaming operations including upstate commercial casinos, tribal properties, racetracks, and more. The state also legalized retail sports betting in 2019 and added mobile wagering in 2022.
A 2013 statute allows for seven additional casinos downstate including possibly three in New York City. Four of those properties have already been built upstate with only the NYC licenses remaining.
With government officials looking for added tax revenue, however, state officials are now looking to bring those casinos to the area. Major gaming companies like Sands are lining up to throw their hats in the ring.
In April 2023, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and other legislators announced that the state would fast-tracking the licensing of new casinos including some near New York City. The move could bring Vegas-style casinos with thousands more slots and table games to the area.
“The legislation sets a minimum license fee of $500 million but gives the New York State Gaming Commission the option to accept higher bids,” gaming industry analyst John DeCree told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The slot and table tax minimums are expected to be set at 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, but will ultimately be determined by a competitive bidding process similar to the mobile sports wagering licensing process.”
Other companies also interested in a New York casino
Those gaming taxes would be some of the highest in the nation. By comparison, Nevada’s taxes on gaming revenue come in at a maximum 6.75%. New York bidders are also required to make at least a $500 million capital investment.
Several major gaming companies are expected to bid, including Sands, MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Hard Rock International (owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida), Bally’s, and others.
New York City offers a massive potential market, with a metropolitan population of almost 19 million. However, the state’s casinos face some major competition among neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Massachusetts and Rhode Island also now have casinos as well.
The Sands isn’t the only company to outline potential casino details. According to the New York Daily News, some other potential casino location include:
- Times Square – Caesars and SL Green Realty have proposed a casino in a Times Square skyscraper. Green says the plan would bring 1,300 hotel jobs and drive additional revenue to Broadway theaters.
- Midtown East – The Mohegan tribe hopes to build a casino under a massive Ferris wheel at a vacant lot near the United Nations.
- Saks Fifth Avenue – The retail giant would welcome a high-end casino on the top three floors of its department store right in Midtown.
- Hudson Yards – Related Companies and Wynn Resorts hope to construct a casino next to the Javits Center. In September, Related CEO Jeff Blau said the location is “the ideal site for a resort that will reinvigorate our tourism economy and provide billions in tax revenues.”
- Coney Island – This location has a deep casino history and that may be returning. Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation, and Legends (the hospitality company that’s a joint venture between the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) is looking to build a hotel and casino at the famous entertainment destination.
No deadline for bids has been announced, but the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board will review proposals in the coming months before making a recommendation to the state gaming commission.