Published: January 6, 2023

NY officially solicits bids for full-fledged casino with license fee set at $500M

New York's bid to award up to three licenses for full-fledged casinos advanced on Tuesday after officials unanimously voted to formally solicit applications, with an asking price of $500 million for each license.

The state Gaming Facility Location Board voted to open up the application process for a full-fledged casino, which would allow live table games and create more tax revenue for the state.

The board will review each application and consider several factors, including how many jobs a prospective operator plans to create, how much revenue a casino expects to bring in, and a commitment to contract with minority and women-owned business enterprises. Jobs generated by casinos must also pay a living wage.

Applications must also be reviewed and approved by a community advisory committee. Each application fee costs $1 million, according to the board's website.

The plan to bring more full-scale casinos goes back a decade, when New Yorkers voted to approve the authorization of upwards of seven commercial casinos across the state. Four of those licenses have since been approved.

The latest round of solicitation for licenses has generated interest from Thor Equities, which has partnered with Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation and Legends with intentions of building a gaming complex in Coney Island. Immediately following the state's release of the application, the group released a joint statement saying that the neighborhood has "been waiting for a year-round economy that creates not just jobs — but careers."

"We look forward to submitting our bid and setting a new standard in economic revitalization and resiliency for New York," the group wrote in its statement.

But the group isn't the only one looking to build a casino in New York City. In October, SL Green Realty Corp. — a real estate investment trust — revealed its plans to seek a license for a full-fledged casino in Times Square in partnership with Caesars Entertainment.

Resorts World New York City in Queens and Empire City Casino in Yonkers have expressed interest in building a casino, as previously reported by Gothamist, while Wynn Resorts and the Related Companies are considering a bid to build one at Hudson Yards in Manhattan. New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has also expressed interest in building a casino next to the team's home stadium of Citi Field.

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