In the eastern American state of New York and local politicians have reportedly killed off a proposition that could have seen a casino resort brought to the densely-populated island of Manhattan as soon as later this year.
According to a Wednesday report from the New York Post newspaper, the proposal to authorize a Las Vegas-style property for the urban borough was contained within the state’s budget for the upcoming year. Proponents had purportedly hoped to scrap an existing moratorium on such projects in hopes of being able to attract players from across the region and immediately collect a projected $1.5 billion license fee while creating hundreds of full-time jobs.
The newspaper reported that numerous operators including the likes of Bally’s Corporation, Wynn Resorts Limited and Las Vegas Sands Corporation were even thought to be lining up potential bids for the right to bring a casino resort to the 14,478-acre island that is home to approximately 1.6 million people.
However, state lawmakers reportedly passed the annual budget on April 6 without the casino measure owing to a dispute between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured) and Manhattan’s representatives on the New York City Council. Some of these members object to the idea of bringing such a gambling-friendly facility to the center of the nation’s largest city and had purportedly appealed to the legislature for special rights that would have allowed them to decide on any proposals.
Currently in his third four-year term as New York’s preeminent legislator, Cuomo was reportedly uneasy about giving the powerful island borough any special decision-making rights owing to concerns that the move could set a precedent for subsequent budget negotiations. The casino-friendly measure could purportedly not be passed without such a concession and was consequently shelved.
The 332-room Resorts World Catskills is the closest Las Vegas-style gambling venue to Manhattan at some 91 miles while both the giant Mohegan Sun development and the casino hotspot of Atlantic City lie approximately 130 miles away. New York City is nevertheless home to a pair of slots-only properties in the Resorts World New York City enterprise from Genting Malaysia Berhad and MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway endeavour.
The New York Post reported that the race to bring a piece of the Las Vegas Strip to ‘The Big Apple’ began in 2013 courtesy of a local constitutional amendment that authorized seven full-scale commercial casinos for the whole of New York. Although the initial four upstate venues encompassing the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Tioga Downs Casino Resort, Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady and Resorts World Catskills facilities opened soon after, a moratorium to 2023 was placed on the remaining trio of ‘downstate’ licenses.