The race becomes official
More than seven giants of the US gambling industry, including Rush Street Gaming, Wynn Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands (LVS), have now officially expressed their interest in a New York-area casino license.
On Wednesday, Capitol Pressroom podcast host David Lombardo shared news of Rush Street officially expressing interest in acquiring one of three New York City casino licenses:
The operator of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady is a new face in the race, while media reports already suggested Wynn, LVS, Genting Group, MGM Resorts International, Bally’s Corporation, and Hard Rock International had an interest in the project. Now, all seven have submitted their official expression of interest to the New York State Gaming Commission (NYGC).
The request for information (RFI) deadline passed on December 10. A total of 30 people or entities have responded. Notably, Caesars Entertainment is not among the interested parties despite reports suggesting the company intended to join the race.
Rush Street’s plans revealed
An RFI represents the first step towards eventual bidding for an NYGC license. As is the norm, most of the 30 interested parties have requested the state to completely redact their response before posting in the public domain. Rush Street, however, proved an exception.
Similar to the proposal of money manager Jason Ader, who went public earlier this month with a $3.2bn NYC casino plan, Rush Street provided a full sales pitch with its own expression of interest.
Signed by chairman Neil Bluhm and CEO Greg Carlin, Rivers’ pitch gets straight to the point. “We are developers of destination casinos and we are proud of how we have transformed local communities,” it states. The presentation highlights the positive impact the brand has had on Schenectady and other cities where it has established casinos, including Chicago, Philadelphia, and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Rush Street’s pitch goes on to “humbly ask” the NYGC to give the Chicago-based firm the chance to duplicate the success it has experienced elsewhere in the US. “We have developed six successful casinos from the ground up, we just broke ground on the seventh, and we would love for the eighth to be in Downstate New York,” the proposal asserts.
Some concerned parties
Not all 30 respondents want a casino license, however. The RFI is also a public comment window — a platform for residents, gaming industry players, and not-for-profit bodies to articulate their concerns.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is one such party that may have concerns about the impact of new casinos. Also potentially voicing a gripe is the Shinnecock Indian Nation, which is seeking to develop its own casino in eastern Long Island. Like the NYRA’s RFI, the state blacked out the majority of the tribe’s eight-page submission, so it’s not clear what their specific worries might include.
Despite concerns from some companies and local legislators, a recent study by the NYGC estimated that three full-service casinos entering the NYC market could rake in extra revenue of $420m to $630m per year.