A rendering of the proposed project in Hudson Yards from Wynn Resorts

 

In the final days of the legislative session, Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon) are advocating for a bill to expedite the awarding of casino licenses in NYC. They argue that the current timeline is costing the state billions in potential revenue. Their proposed legislation would require bids by July 31 and mandate the New York State Gaming Commission to approve the licenses by March 31 next year, much earlier than the current deadline of December 31, 2025.

Critics claim the drawn-out process benefits bidders with political or zoning issues, such as Steve Cohen’s $8 billion project next to Citi Field in Queens and the Related Companies/Caesars’ $12 billion complex in Hudson Yards, Manhattan. An expedited timeline could favor existing slots parlors like Resorts World at Aqueduct Racetrack and MGM Empire City at Yonkers Raceway.

Addabbo and Pretlow deny any favoritism, emphasizing job creation and increased state revenue. Each successful bidder would pay a $500 million license fee and have two years to resolve any land-use or legal issues. Governor Kathy Hochul has not committed to accelerating the process, stating she will review all passed legislation. Other potential projects include bids for Times Square, Ferry Point in The Bronx, Hell’s Kitchen, and Coney Island.

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