Pushing for full-scale commercial license

New York: MGM unveils renderings for proposed Empire City casino overhaul

MGM Empire City Casino, New York, rendering
Reading time 2:35 min

MGM Resorts International has unveiled renderings for its vision to transform Empire City Casino in Yonkers into "a world-class entertainment destination" called MGM Empire City if awarded one of three downstate New York commercial casino licenses.

The group revealed prospective plans for a remodel of the property to transform it from a Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) racino into a full-fledged resort casino property, as US gambling giants vie for up to three concessions that provide privileges for slot machines, table games, and sports betting.

If granted the commercial casino license, the property will house live dealer table games, the latest slot machines, and a high-limit gaming area for casino guests. 
A commercial casino license would also enable MGM Empire City to introduce a BetMGM Sportsbook and Lounge, offering guests lively game day experiences with a 112-foot wrap-around LED screen, stadium seating, VIP areas, multiple betting kiosks, and food and beverage operations.

The overhaul would further include the addition of several new dining destinations, including a modern steakhouse, a casual quick-serve Italian American experience, and an Asian noodle bar and eatery. Existing venues Big Kitchen food court and The Pub sports bar would also transform into "new, high-end" food concepts. 

The plan also includes the development of a new parking garage to significantly enhance the guest arrival experience while also providing visitors with direct and convenient access to the casino and its amenities.

MGM Resorts has a long and proud history of delivering world-class entertainment and gaming experiences, and we couldn’t be more excited to build on that track record at MGM Empire City,” said Bill Hornbuckle, President and Chief Executive Officer, MGM Resorts.

A full-scale casino and entertainment destination will provide unparalleled experiences, create thousands of jobs, boost the state’s economy, and be a game-changer for the entire region.”

MGM International says that Empire City’s entertainment venue would be a “first-of-its-kind" in the region, hosting A-list performers and events in a 5,000-capacity setting with "unrivaled views, cutting-edge acoustics, and dedicated amenities.”

The casino's General Manager, Ed Domingo, said: When MGM Resorts acquired Empire City Casino in 2019, we knew we were becoming stewards of a historic institution that has served generations of New Yorkers as a gathering place for entertainment, a source of jobs for the community, and a driver of economic development.

"As MGM Resorts prepares to enter its sixth year at the helm of this iconic property, we are excited to be able to combine the knowledge we have developed of the New York market with our expertise as a global entertainment brand, to bring the next chapter of New York’s entertainment landscape to the incredible community we are part of."

The proposed MGM Empire City project has received the support of local government, unlike some of its competitors, and is widely considered a frontrunner for one of the three downstate licenses along with Resorts World New York City, since they are existing venues seeking to expand, as opposed to new projects.

The casino selection committee is currently processing its second round of questions from prospective licensees and is expected to release answers in the coming weeks.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said: “This is a momentous opportunity for the City of Yonkers, and I’m excited for the future, knowing the development of MGM Empire City will create thousands of good-paying union jobs and the economic growth that will ensure our city continues to flourish and prosper."

"Already drawing millions of guests annually, this development plan will solidify Empire City’s status as a premier entertainment destination. Generations of Yonkers residents have worked at, enjoyed, and supported this historic property for 125 years, and I am excited about the significant impacts this project will have for residents now and for the next 125 years." 

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