Related Cos. & Wynn Resorts Team Up to Bid for Casino License in Hudson Yards - The Jewish Voice
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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Related Cos. & Wynn Resorts Team Up to Bid for Casino License in Hudson Yards

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By:  Hadassa Kalatizadeh


On Thursday, one of the Big Apple’s biggest developers announced its bid to open a casino in Midtown Manhattan, in partnership with gambling giant Wynn Resorts.


As reported by the NY Times, Related Companies announced their bid to open a casino near the Javits Center on the undeveloped western part of Hudson Yards.   The partners’ bid is the first publicly announced application to develop one of the three new casino licenses slated to be opened in New York City.  Back in April, the state approved up to three full-service casinos for the NYC area.  The state’s gambling commission has till October to form a six-person community advisory board which will be responsible to manage the application process.


Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul will both have a representative on the committee, as well as the local City Council member, the borough president, the local Assembly member and the local state senator.  Decisions will not be made for at least several more months, as the deliberation process will only begin around January.  “The gaming commission will decide on where these casinos will be located, but we are hoping two of the three downstate casinos will be placed in New York City,” said Fabien Levy, a spokesman for the mayor.


Related Companies, led by Stephen Ross, developed Hudson Yards, are creating the biggest private mixed-use real estate development in U.S. history.  The western half of the area remains undeveloped and the city has been struggling for decades trying to make plans for the space.  Mr. Ross, Chairman of Related and billionaire owner of the Miami Dolphins, has been a generous donor to Gov. Hochul’s campaign, which may possibly help their bid.  Wynn, the high-end Nevada casino operator, will manage the gambling aspects.  Still, there will be lots of competition and it won’t be easy to secure.  “Related and Wynn have a steep hill to climb to convince local residents that a casino in Hudson Yards is in their best interests,” said Brad Hoylman, the state senator whose district includes Hudson Yards.


There is also a frenzy of other major developers coupling with gambling companies and preparing to place their own bids for the new casinos.  Per the Times, Steven Cohen, the owner of the New York Mets, has also been working with Hard Rock casino firm to apply for a casino near the team’s stadium at Citi Field.  Mr. Cohen has good ties with Mayor Adams, having helped support his candidacy in the 2021 Democratic primary.  Additionally, real estate firm Thor Equities has expressed interest in developing a casino in Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Marc Holliday, the chief executive of commercial real estate developer SL Green Realty, said in an earnings call earlier in 2022, that Times Square would be a good spot to add a casino.


Another leading contender for the three new NYC casinos is the Resorts World facility at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.   Last year, the site’s video slot machines had the most gambling revenue of any casino property outside Nevada. They would love to expand into a full casino with live tables for poker and blackjack.  Similarly, Empire City Casino in Yonkers, N.Y., which is controlled by MGM Resorts, is expected to apply to expand into a fully licensed casino.


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