New York City officials see MGM Resorts and Genting Malaysia as favourites for two of the three licenses and want to speed up the licensing process by awarding the licenses a year ahead of schedule. Looking at the licensing fees each casino operator will have to pay, it is easy to see why New York State has fast-tracked the process.
Casinos Will Have to Pay Massive Licensing Fees
Casinos that want to obtain a downstate New York license will have to fork out US$500 million. If they want to pay more, they are free to do that too, as authorities announced that higher licensing bids will also be accepted.
The tax on gaming tables and slots will be quite steep as well. Table games will be slapped with a 10% tax, while slot machines will funnel 25% of all wagers played directly to state coffers.
CBRE Equity Research estimates that the combined annual gross gaming revenue of the three downstate NY casinos could reach US$4.8 billion. Of course, that figure would also depend on where each casino is located, with Times Square being the hottest location discussed at the moment.
Genting and MGM Favourites for Two of the Three Licenses
CBRE Senior Analyst John DeCree agreed with reports that New York City officials favour Genting Malaysia and MGM Resorts. The two gambling industry giants already operate slot machine parlours in New York, so upgrading their licenses to full-scale casino operators makes sense.
DeCree said that the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board would oversee a competitive process similar to the upstate New York casino selection from several years ago.
He added that the six-member board will have to take into account local support and zoning approvals, two things that might be hard to obtain, but won’t be an issue for Resorts World NYC and Empire City.
Genting (Resorts World) and MGM (Empire City) already operate in the region, and it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to obtain those approvals. So, that makes them favourites, and means other operators will vie for that one remaining license.
Also, the CBRE analyst pointed to the fact that both properties could start operating as full-scale casinos almost instantly. That would not only be beneficial for gamblers but would open thousands of new jobs much faster than competitors would be able to do.
However, even with only one license up for grabs, there are several bidders and interested parties. According to DeCree, that illustrates how compelling a New York City casino license is.
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