Empire City Casino Sale to MGM Delayed by NY Gaming Commission

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Empire City casino is an iconic landmark in New York. It’s part of the equally iconic Yonkers Raceway, formerly known as the Empire City Race Track from its founding in 1899. MGM in May 2018 had reached an agreement to purchase Empire City. Now it seems the finalisation of the purchase is being hampered by the New York Gaming Commission. Find out why as we unpack what this delay potentially means for MGM.

Why the NYGC Delayed the Empire City Sale

The $850-million purchase of the raceway and casino was meant to be approved by the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) on the 3rd of January. However, NYGC postponed the meeting until further notice, effectively halting plans that have been in motion for almost a year.


The New York Gaming Commission’s spokesperson, gave a statement explaining why there was a delay. He said the meeting delay was simply due to issues related to the commission’s quorum of members whose task is to approve such matters. This is slightly questionable because this is a deal that has been known and agreed upon from May 2018. Is it truly possible that they could not assemble a quorum of members to carry out the formalities? The NYGC is not issuing new gaming licences for new applicants until 2023 in the state. In light of this the speculations at this point are that the NYGC may be avoiding the legal inconvenience that will come with MGM’s need for a complete all-encompassing gaming licence.

What MGM Plans for the Empire City Racetrack

MGM procuring Empire City is likely a move to stamp their presence in the Northeast part of New York. In the often strange, roundabout ways in which big corporations operate, Empire City will be bought by MGM’s real estate trust which will then lease out the casino back to MGM.

MGM, is intent on not divulging their plans for their planned acquisition. Even the Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano was unable to pry anything out of MGM, saying the casino group was “very guarded about what their plans are”. He also said he was aware though from the numerous conversations he had with MGM officials “that they’re huge plans.”

Keep updated with new developments on MGM’s big plans which they have coined “MGM 2020” with our casino news blogs here at bestunitedstatescasino.com