Published: November 29, 2023

Eric Adams’ admin proposes zoning changes to permit casinos in NYC

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration is proposing changes to The Zoning Law to make it easier for casinos to locate in New York City.

The current zoning law makes no mention of casinos, leaving a state-approved gaming facility in the five boroughs vulnerable to litigation — putting the city at a disadvantage with casinos eyeing sites in the surrounding suburbs, city officials said.

Nassau County already approved a lease for Sands to operate a casino at the Nassau Coliseum site, though it is currently tied up in litigation. 

"As the state considers proposals for casinos downstate, it’s important that we create a level playing field for applicants within New York City so they can compete for this opportunity,” said Dan Garodnick, director of the Department of City Planning and Planning Commission chairman.

"This text amendment would avoid duplicating the state’s rigorous licensing process, which includes local representation on the CAC, while setting up a rational framework for consideration  within our zoning.” 

The proposed Zoning Changes would short-circuit a more cumbersome process of having individual hearings and City Council review and approval for each site, officials said.

Under state law, the Gaming Commission can award up to three casino licenses in the downstate region that includes New York City, Long Island and the northern suburban counties of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam.

The proposed amendments – which must be approved by the Planning Commission and City Council — would allow for casinos in most commercial districts and manufacturing districts.

The recommended changes in the city’s zoning district would make these proposed casino projects — including hotels and restaurants —  permissible, officials said.

But two of the potential casino sites next to the Mets Citi Field and Bally’s at Ferry Point are on city parkland. The state legislature would be required to approve a law converting the parkland to commercial use for those two sites.


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