The Grand Casino Prize – NYC – a must see reality show

Times Square has the highest annual attendance rate of any tourist attraction in the US, and according to Travel & Leisure magazine’s October 2011 survey, the world.  Wikipedia. 

New York City is the not the first city that comes to mind when you think about casinos, now is it?   New York State has had casinos for years, Indian casinos started to open in the early 1990s, after the Indian gaming act passed in 1988.  The state, in its infinite wisdom in 2002, allowed race tracks to install slot machines – the infamous racinos.  There are now nine racinos in New York, including the most recent one to open, Aqueduct, which opened in October 2011 in Queens.

New York City, is seen by many as the most attractive casino location in the United States.  Genting was awarded Aqueduct’s racino license and has been negotiating with the Governor Andrew Cuomo for the right to build a full casino on the site.  Genting has been telling its stock holders, Wall Street, the governor and anyone else who would listen that it would invest $4 billion in building a first class resort.

Things seemed to be going well for Genting, as the governor was most interested in the proposal and very willing to negotiate.  But somehow even with two willing, even eager parties, they hit a snag.  The governor announced on June first that it did not appear that a deal could be reached with Genting – no reasons given; poor Genting is suffering from a loss of confidence and a declining stock price as a consequence and of course the loss of  the plumb, New York City and its inhabitants.

Immediately after the announcement, Governor Cuomo received notice from the Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Caesars, the gaming industry’s biggest players; they each declared that they would happily fill in for Genting and give New York City a casino worthy of its stature.   To put a casino in a major metropolitan area is attractive to any casino operator.  A few months months ago, those same companies were in fight for the second best prize city, Miami. Unfortunately for the bidders, the Florida lawmakers decided against allowing a casino in Miami.  Disappointment swept the industry, as all of the major casino companies in the world had showed an interest in Miami.   But Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, New Orleans, Toledo, St. Louis and Kansas City were prizes  in their own right and in their own time.  But the grand prize is New York City;  18.9 million people live there, just a subway ride away from a casino located anywhere in the city.  That is a customer base to drool over, to fight over and if you lose to cry over.

If the governor plays his cards right, and he holds all of the cards in this game, he should be able to squeeze some very high bids out of the declared contenders; and I suspect there will be a few more companies willing to throw their hat into the New York City ring.  Hell, even I might, if were not for the cost of getting into the game.  I think I might have some difficulty raising 5 or so billion dollars.  New York City – the casino – may just be the best reality show of the season.

A Who’s Who of big-name Las Vegas gambling companies is lining up to replace the Genting company as builder/operator of a huge new convention center/megacasino complex in New York City, The Post has learned. Over the last three months, top officials from Sands Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have all told Howard Glaser, Gov. Cuomo’s state operations director, or other top Cuomo aides that they’re interested in replacing Genting. The expressions of interest came as private talks with Genting about building a $4 billion convention center adjacent to its Aqueduct racino in Queens were grinding to a halt, a Cuomo administration source said. Fredric U. Dicker, New York Post, 6-4-12



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June 2012
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