Hard Rock Announces Multiple Plans for NYC Casino

Hard Rock International

Hard Rock International is interested in obtaining casino licensing in NYC with three potential sites in the works.

Hard Rock International is no stranger to New York City. The brand, operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has plans to open a new hotel in Manhattan in two months, spending $400-$500 million on the project. The Hard Rock Café has been in busy in the Times Square areas for any years. Now, the company wants to set its sights on a casino in the area. Plans recently went public, showing the casino spending $2 billion to create a casino in NYC.

Three Potential Sites

During a recent interview, Hard Rock chairperson Jim Allen stated that the company has three sites it is considering for a casino in NYC. However, the exact locations were not provided. Allen did say that the hotel the operator is working on will not house a gaming venue in the future.

Allen pointed out that a company needs to have enough real estate to take advantage of the market, and the hotel is not big enough. It is a great hotel and one that Hard Rock is proud of, but it will not make a good home for a casino.

Hard Rock has a few spots lined up and are now waiting on the state to send out request for proposals and provide insight into way type of geographic locations will work well for the project. The chairman feels that the selection process will state by late summer or early fall, if the legislation to allow the casino licensing process to move forward is enacted by that point.

The company has a partial stake in the Meadowlands, which is a racetrack located outside NYC in New Jersey. A plan has been proposed to add a casino there, but it is not clear if that is something the operator wants to push ahead on or if it is just an idea.

Hard Rock doesn’t need the NYC license to offer casino gaming at the Meadowlands per se. There is an effort in the works to allow casinos outside of Atlantic City and if approved, Meadowlands could get in on the action that way.

Other Potential Suitors

Along with Hard Rock, other companies are showing interest in obtaining a casino license in New York City. There are technically only three licensing options, and it is believed that two upstate venues that already offer gaming will have first dibs.

If technically only one license is up for grabs, it is sure to become a bidding war as various groups try to obtain it. Proposals have already been submitted showing interest on the matter by such groups as the Las Vegas Sands Corp., Bally’s Corporation, Wynn Resorts, and Rush Street Gaming.

The details of the proposals are not public knowledge, but each of these companies are strong contenders. Each of the companies are doing what Hard Rock has done and find potential locations in or around New York City in order to create the best plan possible.

It is likely that the process will take some time as regulators will want to ensure the best plan is chosen for the licensing. With so many options in the ring, it will certainly be interesting to see who gets chosen. Will one proposal stand out above the rest? We shall see in the coming weeks as more information regarding the process and the actual proposals are presented.

Associate Writer: Geoff enjoys both live and online poker as well as casino games, and is particularly knowledgeable about the legal landscape of online gambling.