New York’s Empire City Casino is getting significant upgrades. The New York casino plans to replace 20% of its games with updated options, equating to roughly 5,000 slot machines and electronic table games.
The MGM Resorts-owned property in Yonkers also announced adding over 1,000 new casino games to its gaming floor.
The upgrades may signal the casino is likely to win one of three commercial casino licenses by the state.
Casino upgrade coming at a crucial time
Recent New York State Gaming Commission amendments allowed Empire City to bring in more games and titles than under the old regulations. Typically, such upgrades of this quantity are unheard of in the industry.
Empire City’s executive director of slot operations, Ryan Munroe, said he aims to update everything from penny slots to $200 max bet machines. In a statement, Munroe said:
“If you think the casino floor looks different, you are right. In my 15 years working at Empire City, I can’t remember a time where we’ve had so many new games hit the gaming floor over a relatively short time period. MGM Resorts continues to make the necessary investments to ensure a top-tier experience for our guests.
Empire City also has some of the highest payouts in the industry, which means that more of the money played at Empire City is returned as payouts to our guests.”
Empire City eyeing New York casino license
The Gaming Facility Location Board is currently in the process of reviewing downstate casino applications. Once the three locations are chosen, the New York State Gaming Commission can grant each operator a license.
The industry expects Empire City and Resorts World NYC in Queens as two sure-fire recipients of casino licenses. Both properties are Class II facilities. With a NY casino license, the casinos will elevate to Class III facilities.
As Class III facilities, they can offer NY sports betting and live dealer table games. Several operators like Caesars and Las Vegas Sands are vying for the third and final casino license.