A Sure Bet for New York’s Future is an alliance that brings together businesses, community organizations, labor groups, non-profit organizations, and other local groups who support MGM Resorts receiving a full-scale commercial casino license for Empire City Casino in Yonkers, NY.
Empire City is prepared to significantly enhance its facilities and offerings, becoming a major economic driver and a cultural and entertainment hub for the region, including the boroughs of New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley. With a full-scale commercial license, MGM Resorts will fully renovate and expand its existing space, add new restaurants, meeting spaces,and build a live entertainment venue that will draw thousands to the area to support local businesses. By finally having the opportunity to develop into its potential, MGM Resorts will create a dynamic gateway to the Hudson Valley that will attract millions of residents and tourists, generate over $1 billion in new economic activity for the region, resulting in the creation of more than 10,000 indirect and induced hires, in addition to the 2,000 direct new hires needed at Empire City itself.
Allowing our communities to benefit from the economic development brought on by Empire City providing full-scale Vegas-style slot machines, live-dealer table games, and sports betting.
We support this development project because we know that it will benefit communities and businesses across the region. Lawmakers and government officials know that this project is critical to ensuring long-term economic resilience and growth, and now that the process has begun, we all have a duty to urge the Gaming Facility Location Board to award MGM Resorts a commercial casino license for Empire City Casino and turbocharge our region.
Our families and businesses need your help and cannot afford to wait any longer. Read more about #ASureBetForNY and how you can get involved below!
As one of the largest private employers in Yonkers and a large employer of Bronx residents, Empire City Casino has long been both an invaluable asset and member of our community. Even more, Empire City Casino has demonstrated their commitment to spending and investing locally.
Each year, New Yorkers statewide directly benefit from the more than $300 million Empire City generates for state education. But, as competition intensifies with neighboring states aggressively pursuing new casinos and gaming opportunities to create or expand full-gaming facilities right in our backyard, there is a threat to New York’s existing casino revenues and jobs. We must move to provide Empire City with a commercial casino license now.
While the worst consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic may be waning, we still face economic challenges such as inflation and a potential recession, making the need for a commercial casino license for Empire City Casino more important than ever. A commercial casino license will create thousands of new, family-sustaining union jobs and generate millions in additional annual wages. In addition, through operating live table games and mobile sports betting, Empire City would be in position to generate significantly more tax revenue, directly benefiting our communities.
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In 2013, after years of watching our residents and tourists flock to neighboring states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut to spend their entertainment and gaming dollars at casino resorts, New Yorkers chose to amend the state constitution to authorize up to seven full-scale casino licenses that would include live-dealer tables, Vegas-style slot machines, and sportsbooks. Four of those licenses were issued upstate, but downstate continues to watch jobs and revenue flow to neighboring states, despite being home to two of the largest casino floors in the country.
New York State passed legislation in 2022 to allow up to three full-scale casino licenses downstate, and we expect the Request for Applications (RFA) to be released soon and for Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts to vie for one of these licenses.
In January 2019, MGM Resorts acquired Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway, but has yet to be able to reach its full potential despite Empire City Casino offering one of the largest gaming floors in the country, and the largest in the MGM Resorts portfolio. Empire City Casino has generated over $4 billion for New York schools in the 15 years it has operated as a VLT facility. But it is the potential is so much greater!
MGM Resorts is a global leader in hospitality and entertainment with locations around the country and around the world offering best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife, and retail offerings. MGM Resorts is committed to the communities in which it operates, striving to make a bigger difference in the lives of its employees, guests, and communities. Find out more about what MGM Resorts does for the community here.
Downstate Casino Licenses
For several years, advocates have urged the state to release the available downstate commercial casino licenses so that Empire City Casino can obtain one of the licenses and develop into its true potential.
Why is this so important? A commercial casino license at Empire City Casino will support families and revitalize communities throughout Westchester and the Bronx. The project would generate more than $1 billion in economic activity for the region and allow Empire City Casino to increase its workforce by over 200% with more than 2,000 direct hires, and also generate over 10,000 indirect and induced jobs.
Additionally, MGM Resorts has publicly stated that phase one will include billions in private capital investment – no tax incentives needed – providing a boon to the building and construction trades in our community.
What’s happening now? Following the Request for Information (RFI) from the New York State Gaming Commission in 2021, which sought input from companies interested in a commercial casino license, the state has now moved forward with the Request for Application (RFA) process to review applications for the three available downstate casino licenses. The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) will evaluate the applications based on a number of factors, including the financial strength of the applicants, the proposed location of the casinos, and the impact that the casinos would have on the surrounding communities.
How To Help
We have reached a critical point in the process and we only move forward if Alliance members step up and are heard. We need you to share this information with your network so they also understand the importance of this issue and can join this effort. Each of us must engage directly with lawmakers to communicate the stakes involved and what a full gaming license would mean for constituents across the region. Our Alliance must make clear to lawmakers and government officials that awarding MGM Resorts with one of the available commercial casino licenses for Empire City Casino is imperative.
This is how we need you to help right now:
- Voice your support by joining #ASureBetForNY.
- Call or email your state lawmakers. Tell them they must move quickly to award one of the available downstate casino licenses to Empire City Casino.
- Connect with people and organizations in your network — inform them of the need for action and ask them to join you as a member of this Alliance.
- Encourage people and organizations in your network to send a letter of support during the RFA process
Amplify your support on social media by using the hashtag #ASureBetForNY and the toolkit included here.
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We are confident that a full-scale license for Empire City Casino will positively impact economic development in our Westchester and Bronx communities. If you would like to join our alliance, please fill out this form:
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