MGM Resorts International has unveiled its vision to transform its Empire City Casino in New York into a full-fledged commercial casino.

Empire City Casino is located in the Yonkers area of ​​New York and currently operates as a video lottery racino. The MGM venue offers slot machines and various table games, as well as harness racing betting and international simulcasts.

However, MGM wants to convert the facility into a much larger venue with a range of facilities. This includes a fully equipped commercial casino with live dealer tables, slot machines and a high limit gaming area.

Other planned on-site amenities include a BetMGM sportsbook and lounge betting facility, various restaurants and a 5,000-seat entertainment venue.

However, the project is contingent on MGM obtaining one of three full commercial casino licenses currently available in New York. The timeline for these licenses will be announced in the coming months, with the tender process starting earlier this year.

“MGM Resorts has a long and proud history of providing world-class entertainment and gaming experiences and we are excited to build on that track record at MGM Empire City,” said Bill Hornbuckle, President and CEO of MGM.

“A comprehensive casino and entertainment destination will provide unparalleled experiences, create thousands of jobs, boost the state’s economy and be critical to the entire region.”

Local support for the MGM casino offering

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano also supports the project, saying it would support economic growth in the region. MGM estimates that a fully equipped casino would generate over $1.0 billion (£790.5 million/€915.2 million) in new economic activity in the region.

“This development plan already attracts millions of guests annually and will solidify Empire City’s status as a premier entertainment destination,” Spano said. “Generations of Yonkers residents have worked on, enjoyed and supported this historic property for 125 years.

“I am excited about the significant impact this project will have on residents now and for the next 125 years.”

MGM faces competition in the race for the New York casino license

MGM is one of several parties that have shown interest in securing a new commercial casino license in New York.

Earlier this month, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International unveiled plans for an $8 billion casino resort at Citi Field.

The Metropolitan Park complex would be built on a 50-acre parking lot surrounding the baseball stadium in the borough of Queens.

The proposal includes a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and a separate sports betting site, which are subject to obtaining licenses. There will also be a live music venue, a tailgate park, a food hall and 20 acres of new park space.

According to the plans, almost 15,000 permanent and construction jobs will be created.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment announced its intention to open a New York casino in October last year. In collaboration with SL Green Realty, Caesars hopes to open the venue in Times Square.

Caesars and SL Green plan to redevelop 1515 Broadway, a property near Times Square, into Caesars Palace Times Square. The entertainment agency Roc Nation, founded by Jay-Z, also supports the offer.

Other operators that have expressed interest include Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Universal Entertainment.

In April, former city planner and New York native Muhammad Cohen examined the plans in a feature article for iGB.