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Businesses, unions, leaders ask governor to grant Empire City Casino full-scale gaming license

The 97-acre property is home to slot machines and a racetrack, but the gaming tables are virtual and not manned with people.

News 12 Staff

Nov 17, 2021, 10:54 PM

Updated 946 days ago

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Empire City Casino in Yonkers is hoping to up its ante and add 2,000 local jobs, but it says bureaucratic tape stands in the way.
The 97-acre property is home to slot machines and a racetrack, but the gaming tables are virtual and not manned with people.
A full-scale gaming license would be needed to have those workers.
Four of the seven approved state licenses went to upstate casinos. Downstate casinos were told they must wait until 2023 for approval.
An alliance of businesses, labor unions, and local and state leaders want the governor to grant a license this year to Empire City Casino, which is owned by MGM Resorts.
It says it would boost the local economy and create more than 2,000 badly needed regional jobs in the wake of the pandemic.
Empire City is the largest private employer in Yonkers. More than 70% of its workforce lives in Yonkers, Mount Vernon and the Bronx.
Rep. Gary Pretlow, of Mount Vernon, has put forth legislation to expedite downstate gaming licenses.
"We in this part of the state definitely want this to happen and we want it to happen now," says Pretlow.
With a full-fledged gaming license, Empire City says it would expand its operation and add amenities.
State leaders hope to include legislation to seal the deal in next year's budget.
A spokesperson for the state's Gaming Commission says it can't move forward on downstate gaming licenses without authorization from the Legislature.
Parties interested in the remaining three unawarded licenses must contact the commission by Dec. 10.


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