MGM Resorts International has unveiled plans to transform its Empire City Casino in New York into a “full-scale commercial casino” if it secures one of the three commercial casino licences currently up for bid.
The video lottery terminal racino in Yonkers has been active since 2006 and was acquired by MGM in 2019. But plans to rebrand it as MGM Empire City would see live dealer table games, slot machines and a high-limit gaming area added.
MGM also plans to incorporate a BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge into the reworked property.
MGM Empire City would “substantially boost” the property’s workforce with thousands of new jobs and over 10,000 anticipated indirect and induced jobs, the company said.
The company added it remains “committed to continuing racing operations” at Empire City Casino’s Yonkers Raceway.
It said: “A full commercial gaming license will allow MGM Resorts to offer a casino experience that is competitive to the offerings of neighbouring states, deterring the current flow of entertainment dollars from New York to gaming and entertainment properties in other states.
“The commercial license is also expected to spark more than US$1bn in new economic activity for the region.”
MGM president and CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the redevelopment would be a “game-changer for the entire region.”
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano added: “This is a momentous opportunity for the City of Yonkers and I’m excited for the future, knowing the development of MGM Empire City will create thousands of good-paying union jobs and the economic growth that will ensure our city continues to flourish and prosper.”
New York casino battle brews
New York Mayor Eric Adams is proposing changes to zoning laws which would make it easier for casinos to locate in New York City.
A number of other industry heavyweights have already set their stalls out for how they would use one of the three New York licences.
Wynn Resorts’ partner in its proposed project, Hudson Yards developer Related Companies, said it will undertake a $10bn redevelopment of the entire western half of Hudson Yards with a three million square foot Wynn casino and resort tower kick-starting the project.
Saks Fifth Avenue, meanwhile, wants to install a casino on its top floors on Fifth Avenue that is positioned between East 49th and East 50th streets and next to St Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Post reported.
Caesars, Las Vegas Sands and Bally’s are among the other contenders for the three New York licences.