Three full casinos are slated for the New York City area under a $220 billion state budget the Legislature approved Saturday.

The agreement would place a trio of Las Vegas-style casinos somewhere in New York City’s five boroughs, on Long Island or in the lower Hudson Valley.

Under a competitive bidding process, companies would pay at least $500 million for a license to operate one of the New York casinos. Licensing will be overseen by the New York State Gaming Commission.

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Empire City, Resorts World Could Have Head Start

In the New York City area, two gaming properties already offer slot-style video lottery terminal games.

These properties are MGM Resorts’ Empire City, a harness raceway in Yonkers north of the Bronx, and Genting’s Resorts World at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

The site in Queens is near John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The Empire City and Resorts World sites do not offer table games such as craps, blackjack and poker. Table games would only be allowed at a licensed full casino.

These two resorts are expected to seek a full license.

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Casino Might Go To Area Seeking Economic Boost

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, has said he envisions Empire City and Resorts World being awarded licenses to become full casinos.

Addabbo is chairman of the state Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering committee.

Another license could be awarded to a site in Manhattan.

However, the location for a third casino might end up being in an area that would benefit more from economic development, the senator told Gambling.com.

In New York City, a community advisory committee will be tasked with helping identify locations.

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Governor Supports Gaming

In 2013, voters across the state approved a constitutional amendment allowing seven commercial casino licenses to be issued.

Four of the seven state-regulated casinos already have opened in upstate New York.

The other three casinos were slated to open at downstate sites later, but Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget, approved in the Democratic-controlled Legislature on Saturday, is fast-tracking that process.

The closest full casino to New York City right now is the Resorts World Catskills property. It is about 100 miles north of the the country’s largest metropolitan area, home to more than 8.4 million residents.

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Sports Betting Going Full Steam In New York

Hochul has been a supporter of gaming, even praising the New York mobile sports betting program.

Sports betting has occurred inside New York casinos since 2019, but legal mobile wagering only began across the state on Jan. 8.

Since then, the eight approved online bookmakers have accepted nearly $5 billion in bets, tops in the nation during that timeframe.

A ninth bookmaker, BallyBet, is expected to be operating statewide soon.

In addition to four commercial casinos, seven tribal casinos are operating in the state.

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