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September 17, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Yonkers windfall: Empire City Casino sale means up to $8M to city

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced Thursday afternoon that MGM Resorts International’s acquisition of Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway will give the city between $7 million and $8 million via a transfer tax payment.

The exact amount of the transfer tax will be determined by the final valuation of the property.

 “MGM clearly feels they are investing not only in a casino but in the city,” Spano said in a statement. “That speaks volumes about their commitment to Yonkers. Our message to MGM has been that there is great enthusiasm for this acquisition because it brings one of the world’s biggest names in hospitality and entertainment to Yonkers, with all the opportunities for investment, jobs and growth that go along with it.”

MGM Resorts bought the casino and raceway in May for $850 million. Additionally, MGM Resorts said it agreed to pay an additional $50 million if Empire City is awarded a license for live table games prior to Dec. 31, 2022.

Then-Assemblyman Spano sponsored the original legislation that allowed video lottery gaming at Yonkers Raceway. The mayor said he would support efforts to secure a full casino license that would allow table games with live dealers. 

“Full gaming would provide a major boost to the city’s tax base and would result in thousands of new permanent jobs that pay well,” Spano said.

MGM is expected to close on the deal in the first quarter of 2019.

The Rooney family has owned the 97-acre facility for about 47 years. Tim Rooney Sr. is president and CEO of Empire City.