The Gaming Facility Location Board could be sifting through applications for New York City casinos this spring. State officials authorized up to three casinos in the city last year. Any new development would need to survive public debate and be greenlit by regulators.
Casino developers have long been eyeing New York City for casino/resort development. The existence of legal online and retail sports wagering in the state means there could be a retail sportsbook at such future locations.
But where could New Yorkers see a casino in the largest U.S. city, a teeming metropolis of more than 23 million people, many of whom undoubtedly would be attracted to gaming and New York sports betting opportunities at a sprawling casino in the Big Apple?
Proposed Locations of a Casino in New York City
The New York State Gaming Commission has approved the application process that could award as many as three casinos in New York City. Much speculation has emerged as to where such entertainment facilities would be located. Each license comes with a hefty price tag: $500 million for a licensing fee to the city and state.
Saks Fifth Avenue
In February, Business Insider reported that Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue, is pursuing one of the three NYC gaming licenses. The plan apparently is to add a casino on the top floors of the famed Saks shopping location at 611 5th Ave in Midtown Manhattan.
According to Business Insider, the Saks Casino would offer “a luxury, high-end casino.”
Hudson’s Bay Company, with headquarters in Canada, does not currently own or operate a gaming business among its many business holdings.
Midtown Casino Complex with a Ferris Wheel
The largest undeveloped space in Manhattan may host a site with a casino, hotel, private residences, and much more.
One of New York’s most innovative developers, The Soloviev Group, which is known for several iconic NYC buildings, has a plan for a 6/7 acre plot it owns near the United Nations in midtown.
According to plans, Soloviev unveiled last November, their casino project would include a 1,000-room luxury hotel, upscale residences in two glimmering towers, a museum, natural park areas, and a large Ferris Wheel.
Caesars Palace Times Square
What’s more iconic in NYC than Times Square? Situated at Broadway and Seventh Avenue, featuring dozens of flashy, neon-signed attractions for shoppers and site-seers, Times Square is one of the most popular attractions in New York City.
A mashup of interested parties that includes SL Green, Roc Nation (owned by Jay-Z), and Caesars Entertainment, has proposed a massive Caesars Palace Casino in Time Square that would bring gaming to the commercial mecca of the Big Apple.
SL Green, which is reported to be the biggest landlord in New York City, would convert the upper floors of its office building located at 1515 Broadway into a casino that rises above the Times Square juncture. The casino would be part of a major overhaul and redevelopment of that structure, resulting in a glass and steel skyscraper with “slots at the top.” The famed Minskoff Theatre would remain on the bottom floor.
The Times Square proposal has been framed as a rescue operation of sorts. Some retailers have struggled in Times Square since the pandemic, leading to more empty spaces than many real estate owners can tolerate. A looming casino would revitalize the economy in that locale, says SL Green.
Coney Island Casino and Hotel Tower
Thor Equities, the owner of Coney Island, is reportedly tossing its hat into the ring for one of the three New York City-based casino gaming licenses. The project would add a casino and hotel venue to the popular tourist attraction in Brooklyn.
Hard Rock Casino in Queens
It wouldn’t be a spending spree if New York Mets owner Steve Cohen didn’t have his wallet open. Cohen is evidently partnering with Hard Rock International, Ltd. (owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida), to devise a plan for a Hard Rock-branded casino near Citi Field, home to the Mets, in Queens.
Hard Rock has a hotel in Times Square and has long expressed keen interest in the gaming industry in New York City. Cohen is chums with mayor Eric Adams, and his reported worth of more than $17 billion gives him power and resources to present a plan that could win a license.
Hudson Yards Casino Project
The west side doesn’t want to be left out. In December of 2022, a plan was unveiled by Jeff Blau’s Related Companies and Wynn Resorts. The $25 billion development proposal on the Hudson Yards site between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to West 34th Streets. would have a casino, a 1,500-room hotel, and many other amenities to support that burgeoning new neighborhood.
Mayor Eric Adams has a history of work in the gaming industry. When he was a State Senator, Adams was chairman of the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. He has spoken favorably for casinos in the city.
The state authorized casinos in 2013, with legislation allowing up to four sites outside the city first. There are currently 25 casinos or racinos in the state, most of them licensed through Native American tribal nations.
Since New York sports betting was launched in January of 2022, the state has vaulted to the number one spot for total sports betting revenue. That tremendous popularity for sports wagering may indicate a thirst for casino gaming in the largest city in the country.
Photo By: Ted Shaffrey/AP Photo