There are over 12 interested parties in the New York casino license for downtown. This lowers the odds for an operator to win the license.
The winning bidder must have an impeccable history and an attractive proposal, at least. Unfortunately, MGM might not have the first one.
This comes following the recent firing of Scott Sibella by Resorts World Las Vegas. He was the president of MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip before joining Resorts World Las Vegas. His firing is associated with his actions during his time at MGM Grand.
According to reports, Sibella was fired for his involvement in an illegal sports betting ring. While these allegations are not confirmed, they could have serious implications for MGM Resorts International.
Sibella was MGM Grand president for ten years, with this role ending in 2019. It is rumored that he also operated an illicit betting ring during that time. Resorts World Las Vegas is yet to confirm that, but it fired Sibella on the basis of violating its company policy.
The New York Post cited unidentified sources who confirmed the firing. The published post also explained that MGM Resorts International’s chances of a New York license may have slimmed following the Sibella scandal.
The federal laws could be unforgiving, and it will likely pursue the issue about Sibella. Unfortunately, MGM Resorts International will be dragged along, begging the question of whether the New York gambling board will consider the operator for a casino license.
Just last month, the federal law enforcement agencies were confirmed to be investigating an illicit sports betting ring in Nevada. Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player, is believed to have been part of the ring.
Wayne pleaded guilty in April 2022. The former baseball player could face eight years in prison once the sentencing is done in March 2024.
How Could the Scandal Affect MGM Chances for a Class III License?
MGM already has a casino in New York. MGM Empire City Casino in Yonkers is a class II casino. In other words, it is limited in what it can offer its clients. Getting the Class III license would have bumped up the casino.
Ideally, New York approved three casinos for downstate in a bid to support the ailing economy due to the COVID-19 effects. The state’s gambling board will grant these licenses in 2024.
While there are over 12 bidders already, it is rumored that two licenses might go to MGM Empire City Casino and Resorts World New York in Queens. This leaves only one casino for grabs.
Ethics will play a huge role in determining the New York casino license winners. Considering Sibella conducted the alleged illicit gambling ring while still employed by MGM, it could contribute to the company’s failure.
Meanwhile, Resorts World could still have a chance because it fired Sibella on time. This could indicate the company’s priority on ethics and integrity.
MGM’s Misfortune Is Bidders’ Advantage
MGM completed its purchase of the Empire City in 2019. The company spent $850 million to buy the casino from the Rooney family, which also owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. MGM has spent more money to prepare for the legalization of sports betting and potential conversion to a Las Vegas-style casino.
Suppose MGM will not get the license. There are many other bidders that could qualify for the license.
This includes Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, and Bally’s. These are all giant companies with good reputations and ethics.
Some reports suggest Wynn and Las Vegas Sands were the first two best bidders for the New York license. However, only time will tell whether MGM still has the chance.
Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Ryan