Wynn Resorts and Related Companies, developer of New York City’s Hudson Yards, announced a partnership to pursue a downstate casino license on the undeveloped Western Yards portion of Hudson Yards.
The plan for a resort, entertainment and gaming destination along the Hudson River would deliver thousands of permanent and construction jobs and billions in direct and indirect tax revenue to the state and city. The New York state budget passed earlier this year provided for three downstate gaming licenses.
The Western Yards section of Hudson Yards is located directly next to Javits Center—which has recently completed a $1.5 billion expansion and is one of the busiest convention centers in the United States hosting the world’s leading conventions, trade shows and special events. Together with the Javits Center, a world-class resort on the Western Yards would create a preeminent convention and entertainment district.
Located along the High Line’s northernmost portion, Hudson Yards is walking distance to all of the region’s major public transportation, including the 7-Train line, Penn Station (accessible to the LIRR, A/C/E, 1/2/3 Train lines), Moynihan Train Hall and the Hudson River Ferry.
“As New York City emerges from the pandemic, the Western Yards provides the ideal site for a resort that will reinvigorate our tourism economy and provide billions in tax revenues for the city and state,” said Jeff T. Blau, CEO of Related Companies. “Combining Related’s unparalleled ability to execute complex mixed-use developments with the best-in-class resort and gaming operator is the perfect pair, and we’re excited to pursue this together.”
“Wynn Resorts has a long history of utilizing a compact, upscale casino floor to support the creation of spectacular resort experiences that appeal to an array of guests—travelers and locals alike,” said Craig Billings, CEO of Wynn Resorts. “We look forward to engaging with the community, learning and understanding what we can do to help New York City to continue to thrive.”
Developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, Hudson Yards in Midtown Manhattan is the center of New York City’s rapidly evolving West Side and home to diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in industry, public art, acres of open gardens and groves and dynamic hub to New Yorkers, tourists and visitors to the Javits Center.
The New York State Gaming Commission has until October 6 to create the Gaming Facility Location Board, which will manage the application process. Applications will begin to be accepted within 90 days of the formation of the board. The gaming regulator must also issue a formal request for proposals.
The fate of Related-Wynn’s proposal will largely depend on the willingness of local elected officials to accept a casino in Manhattan. To proceed, the initiative will have to get approval from an as-yet-unformed six-person community advisory committee.
At least two of the state’s planned downstate casinos are expected to be located in New York City. While Wynn is the first casino operator to publicly announce its intention to bid for one of the licenses, Steven Cohen, the billionaire owner of the New York Mets, has reportedly been in discussions with Hard Rock International to develop a casino next to Citi Field, the Mets’ stadium.
Although three licenses are up for bid, most observers expect two to go to the racetrack casinos currently operating around New York City, Resorts World New York City at Aqueduct racetrack, owned by the Malaysian gaming giant Genting, and Empire Casino at Yonkers racetrack owned by MGM Resorts.