In the aftermath of New York’s relaxation of betting laws, it was announced last month by New York City mayor Eric Adams that there would be three casino licenses issued for facilities in the Big Apple. As of this moment, there has been no confirmation on who will be offered these licenses, but it is fair to say that there’s something to be gained by being the first credible bid out of the blocks. So casino giant Wynn Casinos has taken a big step toward being one of the three providers to secure a license by partnering with a major real estate developer to launch its bid early.
Wynn has joined forces with NYC real estate behemoth Related Companies with a proposal to build the casino as part of the developers’ Hudson Yards development in Manhattan. They plan to engage with the community in the area to ensure any finished project fits with the character of its surroundings, and in planning to make the casino part of an existing development will certainly have the advantage of not using presently-occupied land or creating a large structure in an unspoiled lot.
Wynn has a reputation for compact, upscale casinos, which would certainly be in keeping with the perceived character of the richest borough in NYC. The existing Hudson Yards area is a notable example of developments that fit a lot of facility into not much real estate, and it makes all the sense in the world that Wynn has seen fit to work with Related Companies on this development. Given that there are likely to be more than three operators competing for the three licenses on offer, it may well be that this kind of synergy will be considered by the board that issues the licenses.
Whoever gets a license and completes work on their project first will have the honor of being the first operator/developer to open a casino in New York City. The closest thing the city has to a casino right now is the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, which operates a “racino” with slot machines. That facility does not have any table games, and although there are four casinos in the state already, they are all outside of NYC itself.
Since betting legislation was relaxed in the state, operators have been keen to get to work on building a casino in New York, NY. The city is home to 8.5 million people and is visited by more than 66 million more every year. A well-run casino in this area, given the enthusiasm shown in the state for betting since the launch of sports gambling earlier this year, seems like a license to print money. Wynn has fired the first shot in this battle, it will be interesting to see who moves next.