Eric Adams suggests changes to zoning laws to assist casino applicants

Posted on: November 28, 2023, 01:59h. 

Last updated on: November 28, 2023, 01:59h.

Mayor Eric Adams (D-NY) is hoping to change some New York City zoning laws to be more favorable for potential casino hotels.

Eric Adams Ulrich illegal gambling New York City
New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks at an NYC Department of Buildings Construction Safety Week event on Friday, May 6, 2022. He’s proposing changes to city zoning laws to accommodate casinos. (Image:

The proposed changes by the Adams Administration would allow gaming venues in the city’s manufacturing districts and most commercial areas with no restrictions on size.

The City is proposing a citywide zoning text amendment to allow gaming facilities as a permitted use in certain commercial districts (Section 32-10) and manufacturing districts (Section 42-10) in the Zoning Resolution. This modification would allow a gaming facility licensed by the State and developed through a new State defined siting process to be developed without regard to any potential conflict with the Zoning Resolution,” according to a recent filing with the New York City Department of City Planning.

The proposal would need to pass at least 10 more steps before it could take effect, but Mayor Adams is reiterating his commitment to bringing casinos to the largest US city.

Adams’ Plan Could Streamline Casino Bidding Process

New York’s plan to add as many as three downstate casino hotels has attracted major gaming industry players, but the process has been criticized for being slow-moving and potentially corrupt. The winning bids may be announced next year, but the process may extend into 2025.

Mayor Adams’ efforts to change zoning laws could expedite the process, potentially easing bureaucratic obstacles faced by some bidders. Some projects, like Las Vegas Sands, have opted for locations outside of the five boroughs to avoid red tape.

Speculation is that Resorts World New York and Empire City Casino will be two of the three winning bidders, given their strong New York presence.

Adams’ Plan Could Help, But Other Issues Linger

While Adams’ actions aim to improve the casino bidding process, there are still other hurdles that gaming companies need to overcome, including securing local community support and navigating various areas of opposition.

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