Lawmakers in New York has been working to expand the state’s gambling industry for years. It’s interesting, considering this state was largely against most forms of gambling for years. David Paterson, former NY state governor, is now lobbying for Las Vegas Sands to get a NYC Casino opened.
It’s no secret that the Sands is looking to expand into New York. Voters in the state have approved a casino in the Big Apple, yet the current set of laws claim none can open here until 2023. Paterson and officials at Las Vegas Sands feel that this wait is unnecessary.
New York’s Casino Laws, Explained
As we mentioned above, New York has had a love-hate relationship with gambling over the years. Back in 1957, this state legalized bingo gambling. Nine years later, lawmakers here approved a state lottery.
In 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This allows Native American tribes to operate casinos in tribal land throughout the country. Since this law was passed, a large number of Indian casinos begin to open in New York, the majority of which are located in the upstate area.
In 2013, New York held a vote on the future of casino gambling. Interestingly, voters here approved plans to open up commercial gambling establishments. This vote allows for seven new casinos to open up.
Four of these new commercial casinos will open in upstate New York. Another three are eligible to open downstate, including New York City and its suburbs. So why are some claiming that a NYC casino isn’t possible anytime soon?
Former Governor Wants a NYC Casino to Open Next Year
The vote to add commercial casinos in New York was historic. For decades, the only legal casino establishments operating in this state were run by Native American Tribes. Finally, the top US casino companies have the chance to break into this market.
Unfortunately, the laws set in place makes it a little difficult for these casinos to begin operating. Under these laws, the first NYC casino cannot officially open until 2023. Lawmakers here decided to delay the downstate casinos in order to give the upstate casinos a fair shake in the state’s casino market.
Not everyone feels this makes sense. Former Governor David Paterson is pushing for Las Vegas Sands to open a casino in New York City by next year.
“Is it going to happen in 2023 or 2020? Why not start three years earlier?” he said. “This is really a tremendous opportunity to create jobs in New York.”
Anthony Cuomo, the current governor of New York, is not quite as optimistic about the state’s casino industry as Paterson. Speaking to the media, Cuomo explained that the effects of expanded casino gambling options are still not entirely known.
“I’m not a great fan of the gaming industry, but it’s here, it’s real, states all around New York are doing it,” he said. “Obviously more people lose in gambling than win, and if there’s not a significant economic benefit to the state, or a region of the state, then I would rather not do it.”
Competition is Fierce in New York’s Casino Market
Obviously, a huge number of the country’s top casino operators are working to enter into this market. There are more than 8.5 million people in New York City alone, many of whom love to gamble. It’s likely that any casino built in this city becomes one of the biggest gambling establishments in the country.
MGM Resorts and Genting Group have both expressed a desire to open full-fledged casinos in NYC. Las Vegas Sands is working hard to gain a foothold here, as well. Having David Paterson is certainly going to help their chances.
Casinos in downstate New York will face a licensing fee estimated at $500 million. If any casinos manage to break into this area before 2023, they will also need to pay additional early entry fee costing millions. Still, the potential earnings associated with a NYC casino is enough for major companies to pay these fees.
We’ll have to wait and see which companies manage to enter into the downstate area first. Many gambling fans here choosing to access the online casinos in New York. Perhaps in time, the state will begin to regulate this industry, too.
Stay tuned for updates on this situation over the next few weeks!