New York casinos have reportedly decided to support the incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in this upcoming 2022 gubernatorial election this November.
Governor Hochul came to power after former governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was forced to resign in disgrace last August following numerous sexual misconduct allegations. This year, the 63-year-old Hochul hopes to win her first full term as an elected governor of New York.
Hochul is not an unfamiliar figure to the gaming industry. Her husband, Bill Hochul, currently serves as the senior vice president and general counsel of Buffalo-based casino and hospitality company Delaware North.
According to the New York Times reports, Gov. Hochul has raised $34 million through her PAC called “Friends for Kathy Hochul.” Hard Rock has given more than $120,000 to Hochul’s PAC and its chairman Jim Allen also personally wrote a check for at least $28,000 to her reelection campaign.
In the latest governor primary debate earlier this month, Hochul addressed the possibility of a casino being established in the Manhattan area.
“I’m not going to put my finger on the scale and say where I want this to go because I want to get the outside experts — the people who are charged with this — to make the decision and do the analysis at existing sites,” Hochul said.
“There’s some in Queens, there’s some in Westchester, there’s some in Nassau, as well as Manhattan, so as governor it’s my responsibility to be open-minded to all of these options right now, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
If Hochul wins this November, New York is potentially expanding its commercial casino industry which is now limited to only four casinos. MGM Resorts and Genting Group will reportedly receive two permits that will allow live table dealers and in-person sports betting when a moratorium on downstate casinos ends in 2023.
Both MGM and Genting are currently operating Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World New York City at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, respectively.
Other operators such as Wynn Resorts, Rush Street Gaming Las Vegas Sands, Bally’s Corporation, and Hard Rock International are aiming to build a casino resort in Manhattan themselves.
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