Close your eyes for a second. Imagine walking through the main lobby of a casino. Your stomach is churning with anticipation. You can feel the excitement. You can smell the money, lots of it. You’re certain that tonight is the night that you hit “the big one”; the insanely profitable blackjack run, the monster slot jackpot, the 2 hour craps roll. As you near the casino floor, the ringing of the slot machines gets louder and the cheering at the tables gets more intense.
You’re in your favorite spot in Vegas or your usual haunt in A.C., right? Wrong.
Don’t open your eyes yet! Now, imagine that you’re in New York City. Can you see it? A top of the line, no expense spared, all the bells and whistles, Vegas style casino right in the heart of the NYC? Or maybe overlooking the water, nestled in Coney Island?
Believe it or not, this may be closer to becoming a reality than you might imagine.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo is promoting the idea of legalizing full scale gambling throughout the state. He sees it as a potential boon to the state economy, which is currently operating in a $2 billion budget deficit. It also makes sense, considering that New York already has five tribal casinos operating within its borders, but which New York State doesn’t regulate or capitalize on.
There also exist nine “racinos” in the state, which are racetracks that are allowed to have slot machines but not table games. Having full-fledged, non tribal casinos looks like a no-brainer. A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that voters, by better than 2-1, or 64-31 percent, favored legalizing Atlantic City/Vegas style casinos in New York State.
The political process to make this a reality is an arduous one, as it would require amending the current state constitution, no small task. However, the interest and the willingness appear to be there.
The list of potential suitors to build a NYC casino would surely be a lengthy one. It has already been reported that one of those interested is Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire gambling mogul and owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp. He is contemplating placing a large bet on gambling in New York City if legalization comes to pass. Adelson is considering building a huge gambling and convention resort, in traditional Vegas style, right in the heart of the city. Sands already owns and operates properties in Las Vegas, Singapore, Macau, and in Bethlehem, Pa.
If Sands, or any other of the gaming big shot outfits, can add New York to its casino portfolio, can you imagine? It would be a dream come true! A casino in the Big Apple! Fingers crossed.