Mohegan Gaming’s plans for a New York casino are now taking shape, as it proposes to develop a 1,200-room hotel, residential, museum and casino property nearby the United Nations headquarters in the city, equipped with a massive Ferris wheel.
Mohegan is one of the many operators, including Las Vegas Sands and Genting, aiming to capture the New York market, with just three gaming licenses up for grabs.
According to the New York Times, Mohegan is partnering with Soloviev Group, a long-time owner of a 6.7-acre plot in Midtown, New York, which – aside from the gaming, hotel, residential and retail, would include four acres of green space, dubbed the Freedom Plaza.
Speaking of the project, the CEO of Soloviev Group, Michael Hershman, said that it was “beyond a casino”.
Contrary to other proposals – including Caesars’ proposed partnership with HipHop and retail giant Jay-Z (planned for Times Square) – Mohegan’s development would place the casino underground, opening the top-side property to host public sports fields, walking paths and other offerings.
It’s also set to include up to 1,500 rental and condo apartments, which the publication notes would be offered ‘below market rent’.
Mohegan, however, is going up against other strong bids by competitors including Wynn Resorts – which is proposing a casino in Midtown Manhattan, Thor Equities – which is aiming for a project on Coney Island, Las Vegas Sands – which aims to transform a veterans memorial coliseum in Long Island, and other strong competition.
Any potential bidder requires a minimum of $500 million capital investment, with at least an additional $500 million for the license.
In its most recent earnings release, Las Vegas Sands noted that it would be scaling back on its Asia acquisition aspirations as the company’s CEO, Rob Goldstein noted that New York was “an extraordinary and unique opportunity”.
Winning bids are only expected to be published by the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board in late 2023, with expectations that the verification and referendum process could take much longer.