Skip to main content

Competitors for Downstate Casino Licenses Face New York City Parents’ Criticism for Using Their Children to Manipulate Them

Latest reports have claimed that casino companies are making serious efforts and even going to extremes to win over New York community support, with these efforts extending to children, as shared by some concerned parents.

Some parents in New York City noted that local casino developers are using their children as “pawns” as part of an endeavour aimed at winning one of the three downstate commercial gambling operating permits.

As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, New York state authorities authorized a total of seven commercial casinos ten years ago. However, a 10-year moratorium on local officials preventing them from issuing the three licenses for downstate New York that applied at the time. This was an important measure because the provision basically allowed the four upstate casino venues to start operation without facing any downstate competition.

At the time, the New York lawmakers were aimed at providing a 10-year exclusivity of Las Vegas-style table games and slot machine privileges to the upstate gambling properties, making them quite attractive, as their owners would have enough time to attract both upstate and downstate residents and establish a strong customer base.

The 10-year moratorium, however, was brought to an end in 2023, and the New York Gaming Facility Location Board is set to start considering applications for the much-desired downstate casino licenses in the months to come. Market experts expect a fierce bidding war to be unleashed, especially considering the fact that Queens-based Resorts World New York City of Genting and Yonkers-based Empire City of MGM Resorts are widely recognized as the strongest contenders for two of the licenses.

Reportedly, nearly a dozen bids for the three downstate commercial casino operating permits are currently being prepared.

Gambling Giant Investing in Your Organizations Use Children as “Pawns”, Parents Claim

As mentioned above, some casino developers are now making an effort to win the support of local voters, with their efforts extending even to underage individuals.

The New York Times has reported that parents of Nassau County’s youth soccer players recently got invited to bring their children to Uniondale-based Mitchell Athletic Complex for a special training session with soccer stars David Beckham and Carli Lloyd. The program was carried out as part of the Sands Youth Empowerment Initiative, an enterprise run by the world’s richest gaming company in terms of annual gross revenue, Las Vegas Sands, which normally supports youth sports in communities where the gambling giant operates.

Some parents, however, have not been happy with gambling operators using their children “as pawns” in their effort to make their services more popular in local communities, saying that was simply not right.

Las Vegas Sands spokesperson Ron Reese disagreed. As he noted, the company offers much more than gambling services and regularly empowering the communities where it operates or hopes to operate in the future is simply part of its policy. Mr. Reese further noted that the company intended to continue to invest in youth organizations across the country because they are important parts of the local communities and they support young people who are willing to make the best of their skills.

 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.