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MGM Buys New York Casino For $850 Million

MGM Acquired Empire City Casino In Anticipation Of Receiving A Full-Scale Gaming License In Next Few Years

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MGM Resorts now has a presence in New York. On Tuesday, the Las Vegas-based gaming giant closed on its purchase of Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway, just north of New York City.

MGM bought the racino from the Rooney family, who owned the track since 1972, for $850 million. They plan on updating the 97-acre facility and preparing it for a full-scale gaming license. Outside of wagering on the races, they are currently only allowed to offer slot machine gambling.

That could all change in the upcoming years.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a moratorium in place on new casinos in an effort to protect the four upstate casinos from competition. MGM is hoping that once the ban is lifted, they will be able to offer table games just minutes from the country’s most populated city.

“I know it’s a topic of conversation, but I have no opinion or intention of making any changes at the time,” Cuomo told lohud.com about lifting the moratorium before 2023. “It’s an evolving field, there’s no doubt about that.”

Per their deal with the Rooneys, if MGM gets a full-scale gaming license in New York before 2024, they will pay the family an additional $50 million.

The acquisition gives MGM several casinos in the region, which CEO Jim Murren echoed in a statement.

“Over the past three years, we have established a meaningful presence in the Northeast with Borgata in Atlantic City, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, and MGM Springfield in Western Massachusetts,” said Murren.