A decade after New York voters approved a large-scale expansion of gambling in the state, there’s a major battle over winning the rights to develop highly-lucrative casinos in New York City and its suburbs.
Earlier this year, state officials issued a request for applications — the official call to the nation's largest casino companies and developers to get ready to submit proposals for some Big Apple gaming. At least eleven proposals have emerged, spread out all across the city and its suburban counties.
It’s a massive competition for up to three commercial casino licenses. Millions of dollars in campaign contributions have already been made, while an army of lobbyists focus on elected officials who will have veto power over these potential projects in their districts.
Meanwhile, communities are already organizing opposition, saying bringing gambling to their neighborhoods is a bad bet.
NY1 has spent months interviewing the applicants, community leaders and elected officials, investigating how much politics and money will sway this process. We found that these companies are leaving little to chance — and doing almost anything that they can to have the winning bid.