Lawmakers Discuss Ways to Bring Casino to Manhattan

Future plans for a casino on Times Square causes mixed opinions.

While the city of New York is looking for ways to compensate for economic loses due to the coronavirus pandemic, developing companies agree that the establishment of a gaming facility is the way to go.

On the other side of the spectrum are the lawmakers who consider the idea of a casino in New York to be good, but only if it is not in Manhattan.

One of them is State Senator Joseph Addabbo, the chaiman of commitee on racing, gaming and wagering. He explained his position against building a casino on Times Square.

According to him, casinos are established where there is an economic need for them. This is not the case for Times Square, which does not need a financial injection.

Senator Brad Holyman agreed with Addabbo in a tweet saying that gaming and casinos will add more problems to the existing ones related to severe shortage of supportive and affordable housing. According to him, the existing vacant office space in Manhattan should be used to address those problems.

Developers discuss possible sites for the future casino. One of them is Herald Square. L&L Holding Real estate developer wants to establish a casino on 47th street and Broadway in a 46-story tower worth of $2.5 billion, which will also include a theatre, as well as hundreds of hotel rooms.

New Casino to Help With Revenue

The state can only issue three new casino licenses in 2023 but the lawmakers are hoping that this can happen sooner for it will help with revenue and avoid raising taxes.

According to Senator Addabbo, this can happen by upgrading the two existing casinos in the area that have slot machines and electronic games to full-scale casinos with table games and dealers.

He said: “We currently have two operating casinos in Yonkers and Queens, if they would be given full license it would create jobs and educational funding.”

Many states in the US are fighting with the current economic crisis due to the pandemic. While New York considers establishing new casino to be the way to deal with financial loses, other states like Michigan and Georgia are legalizing online sports betting.

Since the restrictions imposed by the pandemic closed some of the existing casinos, online sports betting seems to be the only steady thing to ensure profit for the gambling market.

New York might be facing legalization of online sports betting too later this year. In December Senator Addabbo expressed his optimism that his efforts might be successful this time.

According to Addabbo, a new revenue source is going to make up for the multibillion-dollar budget deficit that the state is facing.

Source: “Proposal could bring casinos to Manhattan”, Pix 11, 21.01. 2021

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