MGM Resorts International is expecting its $850-million purchase of the Yonkers Raceway and Empire City Casino approved this month, but the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) has postponed a meeting for this, giving no rescheduled date.
Hudson Valley-based The Journal News reported that the commission had postponed “until further notice” its January 3 meeting, where it was to tackle the Empire City deal.
In an e-mail to the news outlet, NYGC spokesman Brad Malone said the meeting had been moved due to “issues with a quorum of members.”
The deal had first been announced last May, with MGM saying it will sell Empire City to its real estate investment trust MGM Growth Properties for $625 million, after which the property will be leased to MGM for $50 million a year.
The casino contains about 5,200 slot machines and electronic table games. Yonkers Raceway, first opened in 1899, was purchased by the current owner, the Rooney family, in 1972.
With the planned purchase, MGM hopes to strengthen its presence in the East Coast, particularly in the state of New York.
The Journal News cited local officials as saying they expected MGM to seek a full-scale gaming license, while the state will not permit new issuances of until 2023. MGM, however has remained mum on details. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said, “I’ve had a number of conversations with them. Clearly, they are very guarded about what their plans are… That being said, they have said over and over again that they do have plans and that they’re huge plans.”
MGM has announced its ‘MGM 2020’ plan, which includes “organizational changes to improve operating efficiencies,” where half of a projected increase in adjusted earnings will be “driven by labor savings.”
The casino operator also plans to reallocate annual capital expenditures to “specific technology advancements that will increase revenues and grow market share by innovating and elevating the guest experience through data, pricing, digital and loyalty capabilities and optimizing business mix.”