Saks Fifth Avenue Joins the Race for a NY Downstate License

Yet another company has revealed its interest in joining New York’s gambling sector, by participating in the chase for one of the three downstate licenses. Just recently, an industry source reported that Saks Fifth Avenue submitted an official bid to the State of New York for one of the licenses. If approved the company would be able to launch a casino property in Manhattan, NYC.

Just at the start of 2023, New York’s Gaming Facility Location Board, which is tasked with reviewing bid for downstate casinos, kicked off the Request for Applicants. Each of the applicants must agree to pay at least a US$500 million licensing fees, as well as invest at least U$500 more in their respective project. Winners should be announced later this year.

More on the Bid

A source close to Hudson’s Bay Company, which is the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue has recently confirmed the company’s interest in bringing a casino to Manhattan and already submitting a proposal. According to the source, for its project, the department store would convert its upper floor into a casino, and attract visitors and tourists from all around the world.

The source also shared that over the last year, the company has invested significant time and energy into a strategic plan to most effectively and positively bolster the experience at its Saks Fifth Avenue experience with a premium casino. The casino area would stretch over a collective 200,000 square feet, and it would include a separate lobby from the department store.

In addition to that, the source told that the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store is a trademark of one of the most iconic streets in Manhattan. The company shared that the store is of particular importance to it and that it will continue to invest in the vibrancy and spirit of the department store. However, earning one of the three licenses is easier said than done.

The Competition

But in order to get its hands on one of the gaming licenses for downstate New York, the department store would have to overcome some serious competition. Previously, many companies have declared interest, some of them include Thor Equities, Las Vegas Sands, SL Green with Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts, Hard Rock, and Genting Americas.

It should be mentioned that Las Vegas Sands revealed its plans for a casino last week. Its project would be located on land currently occupied by Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It is set to feature outdoor community spaces, four and five-star hotel rooms, a premium life entertainment venue, celebrity chef restaurants, experiential events and venues, meeting and convention space and more.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment and SL Green’s bid which also involves Roc Nation has gained some momentum as it received local backing. Their Times Square project is now supported by a group of theatre workers, musicians, small business owners, hotel operators and construction unions.

Source: Biron, Bethany “Saks Fifth Avenue proposes casino at NYC flagship, as competition for gaming licenses in the city heats upBusiness Insider, January 14, 2023

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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat – turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.