Gaming Officials Vote in Favor of Opening New York City Casino License Application Process

  • The license fee will be at least $500m, with applicants able to propose paying more
  • The state Gaming Facility Location Board will be reviewing and approving license applications
  • A $1m application fee will be in place and the hope is that licenses will be issued before year-end
  • Many notable casino companies and property developers have an interest in getting a license
New York City skyline
New York’s Gaming Facility Location Board has officially launched the application process for New York City casino licenses. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Next step in the process

The process to award as many as three full-service casino licenses in New York City (NYC) has advanced. The state Gaming Facility Location Board unanimously voted on Tuesday in favor of officially opening up the application process. It also confirmed that the license fee will be $500m, which must be paid within 30 days of getting license approval.

option to propose paying a larger license fee

Applicants have the option to propose paying a larger license fee. The license will be valid for 10 to 30 years, depending on the amount the applicant is willing to invest in the project, as well as the revenue that the state could expect to receive.

Looking at various parameters

The board will be in charge of reviewing the applications, with numerous factors under consideration, including job creation forecasts, revenue predictions, and a commitment to working with female-owned and minority-owned businesses. All jobs that the casinos create will have to pay a living wage.

No set tax rate on casino revenue is in place, but it has to be at least 25% of gross slots revenue and at least 10% of revenue for other types of gambling products.

Of the various parameters, “economic activity and business development factors” will make up 70% of the weighting. Workforce diversity and development will account for 20% of the total scoring, with the remaining 10% relating to local siting issues.

A community advisory committee will also need to first review and approve relevant applications. To submit an application, parties will be charged a $1m fee. While there is no set deadline on when casino licenses will be issued, the expectation is that they will be awarded before the end of 2023.

A lot of interest

Since New York lawmakers brought up the idea of full-service New York City casinos a couple years ago, there has been a huge level of interest from property developers and casino companies.

Some of the notable casino companies that have expressed their interest include Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts. Numerous high-profile property development companies have struck up partnerships with casino companies. Many different sites for these casinos have been talked about, including Times Square, Hudson Yards, and next to the New York Mets’ Citi Field.

existing gaming machine facilities in New York City appear to be frontrunners

Two existing gaming machine facilities in New York City appear to be frontrunners to get two of the available licenses. The Empire City Casino in Yonkers and the Resorts World New York City in Queens both would like to expand their existing properties to have full-service casinos.