Las Vegas Sands says New York City casino would provide $1.5 billion for public needs Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · July 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm Las Vegas Sands Corp. said an integrated resort in the New York City market could bring $1.5 billion in revenue that could be used to fund the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, public education or other needs through licensing fees. In its announcement Monday that former New York Governor David Paterson would help steer the company’s efforts for a New York City casino license, Las Vegas Sands President Rob Goldstein said the company plans to create a foundation and roadmap for gaming expansion that will “bring billions of dollars and thousands of career jobs, local training, and opportunity to New York.” Voters have already authorized up to three casinos for the nation’s largest city, but under state law they can’t be approved until 2023 at the earliest. Paterson, who is joining Las Vegas Sands as a senior vice president, said state lawmakers should lift the moratorium next year because of the “tremendous opportunity to create jobs” in New York. “Our main focus is to provide an unparalleled economic opportunity for New York, and I am confident with Governor Paterson’s leadership, we will achieve just that,” Goldstein said. Competition for the lucrative New York City market will be fierce. MGM Resorts International operates the Empire Casino and Racetrack in Yonkers while Malaysia-based Genting Group operates Resorts World New York at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Both casinos are slot machine only and the companies have already proposed turning their facilities into full casinos. Voters approved up to seven casino licenses in 2013 – four for upstate, the part of New York outside the New York City area, and three for downstate, consisting of the city and its suburbs, including Long Island. Lawmakers agreed to delay the three downstate licenses to give a head start to the upstate facilities, all now open. In addition to taxes, downstate casino operators will pay a license fee estimated at $500 million per casino. If allowed to enter the market before 2023, casinos in the city would also have to pay an early entry fee to the upstate casinos. Paterson, a Democrat who served as governor from 2008-2010, began consulting for Las Vegas-based Sands earlier this year. The company outlined more than two dozen bullet points covering the economic and social benefits a Las Vegas Sands-operated integrated resort would bring to the New York area. In addition to the $1.5 billion in licensing fees, the state would receive “long term, sustainable revenue of billions of dollars while the resorts will provide an estimated 15,000 permanent union jobs, and 15,000 union construction jobs. Las Vegas Sands would develop plans for community outreach programs and local job training partnerships, as well as minority and women owned business opportunities. The company said the integrated resort would create innovative sustainability and clean energy practices; develop local business development; and offer responsible gaming measures. Las Vegas Sands operates casinos in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore. The company sold its casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania earlier this year. New York lawmakers did not vote on proposals to speed up the process for licensing casinos in New York City and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who succeeded Paterson, told the Associated Press Monday he wasn’t in favor of an early start. “I’m not a great fan of the gaming industry, but it’s here, it’s real, states all around New York are doing it,” Cuomo said. “Obviously more people lose in gambling than win, and if there’s not a significant economic benefit to the state, or a region of the state, then I would rather not do it.” A spokesman for Resorts World declined to comment on the Las Vegas Sands announcement. Resorts World is currently New York’s largest casino with more than 4,400 slot machines and 1,300 electronic table games. MGM Resorts acquired Empire Casino earlier this year. “Accelerating the conversion of Empire City to a fully licensed casino would immediately create new, well-paying jobs and billions in economic impact that could fund schools in Westchester and across the state,” President and CEO Uri Clinton said in a statement to the Associated Press Monday. (Associated Press contributed) Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.