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Hudson Yards, Coney Island Developers Join Fray For NYC Casino Sites

Coney Island, where some developers and casino operators are reportedly keen to obtain a license for a NYC casino.

As New York gets ready to issue the casino licenses in New York City, more developers and casino operators are pitching their sites for gaming.

Related Cos. is eyeing a site in the next phase of Hudson Yards for a possible future casino, and developers Thor Equities and John Catsimatidis are looking to bring one to Coney Island, the New York Post reported.

Downstate and New York City are due to get three casino licenses between them. Mayor Eric Adams wants two of the three casino licenses to go to sites within the five boroughs, the Post reported, and consequently, some of the biggest developers in the city are teaming up with casino operators.

Related, whose chairman, Stephen Ross, has donated large sums to Gov. Kathy Hochul, is pitching Hudson Yards' proximity to the Jacob Javits Convention Center and Penn Station in meetings with City Hall to discuss building a casino over the train tracks on Hudson Yards’ west side, the Post reported.

“We’re exploring our options,” Related spokesman Jon Weinstein told the Post.  

Thor Equities, meanwhile, is looking to Coney Island for a potential site — as is billionaire developer John Catsimatidis, who has ample real estate holdings in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

“A Coney Island casino would bring a lot of vigor to Brooklyn,” Catsimatidis told the Post.

Casino operators, too, are approaching New York’s political sphere. Hard Rock has donated six figures to Hochul’s election campaign, according to the Post, as well as $119K to the state’s Democratic Party. Its lobbyists have also met with City Hall Chief of Staff Frank Carone about wanting to build a casino.

Hard Rock reportedly wants to build a casino in Willets’ Point, close to Citi Field. New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is also keen on the location and has already spoken to City Hall about the possibility, the Post reported. 

Sands CEO Rob Goldstein has also reportedly met with Carone regarding a NYC casino, according to the Post.

Developers Vornado and SL Green have previously voiced interest in a casino close to Herald Square. Competition also comes from two existing slot parlors at state horserace tracks, Queens’ Resorts World/Genting at Aqueduct and Yonkers’ Empire City/MGM. The operators reportedly plan to apply for a full license — and if successful, will leave operators squabbling over the one remaining downstate license, according to the Post.

The gaming commission must appoint members to its casino siting board by Oct. 4, by which point it will have 90 days to issue its request for bids, the Post reported. Each casino license is expected to fetch at least $500M for the state.