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New York Lawmakers to Consider Fast-Tracking a Legislative Move to Permit 3 New Casinos in New York City Area

Lawmakers from the state of New York are taking into consideration whether to make a move and allow 3 new casino venues in the area of New York City, as part of this year’s budget negotiations.

In the next few days, Governor Kathy Hochul and some legislative leaders may back a proposal that could lead to the authorization of three brand new casino licenses for the New York City area. The move could make the lobbying machine of the state run faster than ever, and real estate developers and casino operators could enter a fierce competition to take advantage of the state’s potential gambling expansion.

According to reports, gambling operators are currently spending about $300,000 on a monthly basis in their lobbyist efforts and to urge New York Legislature to fast-track the timetable for the three aforementioned casino licenses. The gambling companies are also calling for local lawmakers to decide where the venues would be situated and who would be chosen to operate them.

Lobbyists have noted that the state of New York is losing out on tax revenue that would be generated on an annual basis by local casinos, with the money currently being spent by New Yorkers in neighboring states. Now, their aspirations may turn into a reality.

Casino Expansion Measure Should Be Included as Provision in State Budget Negotiations, Lobbyists Say

The supporters of the proposed measure have insisted that state lawmakers should include a provision in the state budget to expedite the three casino licenses. This idea has been embraced by Senate Democrats, too, with them suggesting that gambling companies pay a minimum of $1 billion for each operating permit.

For the time being, however, it remains unclear whether the final budget, due April 1st, 2022, will include such a minimum licensing fee.

The members of the Democratic Party, who control the Assembly, which has historically been unwilling to pass a gambling expansion, did not include the proposed acceleration of casino licenses in their original budget proposal. Still, the chamber is considering the matter to be part of the budget negotiations.

Casino operators are not the only ones who are trying to convince state lawmakers to expand gambling in New York. the influential union that represents hotel workers has been coordinating with some casino companies, claiming that the expansion of the local gambling sector would create more jobs for thousands of hotel workers who have been laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic that seriously affected the tourism sector.

Back in 2013, the constitutional amendment allowed up to 7 full-fledged casino venues to be established in the state of New York. Now, casino expansion supporters have been insisting on the addition of three new casinos in the New York City area, claiming that the additional revenue that is to be brought to the state would help the region’s economy.

According to some experts, two of the three licenses are likely to be granted to Genting and MGM, which are among the largest operators in the country. The competition for the third casino operating license, which is possibly the only unclaimed one, has triggered a true lobbying madness.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.