Gambling site

A casino at the top of Saks? Lobbyists push for Manhattan gambling site

Mayor Eric Adams’ chief of staff, Frank Carone, recently met with Las Vegas Sands general manager Robert Goldstein at Mr. Goldstein’s Upper East Side base. Mr. Adams, who as a state senator headed the gaming committee, wants New York City to get two of the three licenses the state is about to allow, his doorman said. -word, rather than seeing one of them end up, perhaps, in Long Island. . His assistants also spoke with several other casino operators.

Many lawmakers and lobbyists in Albany believe two of the licenses will likely go to MGM and Genting, which operate the two so-called racinos — racetracks that have been turned into casino-like properties, but without games like blackjack or roulette. – in Yonkers and Queens, which already employ thousands of union members.

Both facilities have ties to local stakeholders and could begin operating as full-scale casinos within months, quickly generating up to 5,000 new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state. In fact, the two companies have entered into agreements with the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council to give priority to hiring hotel workers who have completed a union training program to become restaurant and ‘maintenance.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., a Democrat and chairman of the committee that oversees casinos, said awarding two of the licenses to MGM and Genting “is probably the most popular scenario, with nothing taken for granted, because it should be an open process.” Genting’s Resorts World Casino is in its neighborhood.

The competition for the third, and perhaps the only unclaimed license, has sparked a lobbying frenzy, with locations ranging from a casino next to the Water Club on the East River to what State Senator Liz Krueger, an Upper East Side Democrat helping to lead state budget negotiations, describes it as “a posh Monaco-like casino on the top floor of Saks.”

A Saks spokeswoman declined to comment.

“The third casino shouldn’t go anywhere but Manhattan,” said Michael O’Keeffe, the owner of the Water Club, who said Manhattan was ideal for a small, upscale Monte Carlo-style casino that will cater to a different audience. market than the casinos of Queens and Yonkers. “There would be no way to take money away from the poor who cannot afford to gamble.”

The wave of proposals for a casino in Manhattan offers no guarantee of success. Lawmakers are likely to require some semblance of local approval for a casino, and opposition among local Manhattan lawmakers is strong.