A couple of months ago, in April, New York lawmakers gave their approval for up to three full-service casinos to be established in the area of New York city – a move that could potentially lead to turbulent development of the casinos that are expected to boost the number of visitors, the tax revenue and also create new jobs.
According to some analysts, establishing a new casino in the city could be a groundbreaking decision. It could transform the national gambling environment by taking hold of the largest market in the country, especially considering the fact that building casino resorts in the center of large cities is quite uncommon. Usually, most casinos in the US are situated in suburban or rural areas, but the last few years have seen an increase in the number of casinos in urban areas as well.
However, there is no guarantee that the state or the city would ever realize the potentially excellent economic opportunities that have been associated with the expansion. Evidence from other urban areas has suggested that the casino companies’ projections for tax revenue are often overstated, while the economic benefits associated with casino gambling usually fade over time. Furthermore, measuring the impact that new casinos could have on existing businesses, crime and problem gambling rates is sometimes difficult to measure, so the extent to which casino gambling actually enhances local economies has been debated by officials for years now.
According to Enrique Zuniga, who once served at the state’s casino regulatory body, projections from casino companies always have to be taken with a grain of salt. Still, he believes that the expansion of casino gambling has the potential for some positive effects on the city.
Casino Industry Has Been Eyeing New York City as Potential Expansion Target
The casino industry has long been trying to set foot in New York City, especially considering the large number of residents there and the fact that the city is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the country. On the other hand, there is only one option for some type of casino gambling in the 5 boroughs – the Resorts World facility at the Aqueduct Racetrack – a horse racetrack offering only some parts of the casino experience, as it features video slot machines but no table games.
The disruptions of the casino expansion plans in New York over the past two years have delayed the city officials’ plans to open a license application process. The economic and financial difficulties that were faced after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic have also made the prediction of the new casinos’ prospects harder.
According to Lucy Dadayan, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, the benefits of casinos are not something the country could rely on in the longer term, and the only way for the US states to realize constant growth in gambling tax revenue is to legalize new forms of gambling and open more and more casinos.
As mentioned above, the number of casinos in urban areas in the country has increased over the past few years. A number of cities and states have given the green light to new casino projects in urban areas, hoping that the tax generated by new gambling operations would help them close some existing budget holes.
According to an economic impact report that was released by analysts from Spectrum Gaming Group in 2021, for a casino in New York city to yield the maximum expected benefits, it would ideally attract a large number of visitors, especially if there is an adjacent hotel, convention center and dining areas.