MGM Resorts International has announced it will acquire New York’s Empire City casino and racetrack, located in Yonkers, for $850m. Talking about the rationale behind the purchase, MGM chairman and CEO Jim Murren said in a statement: “This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity to further solidify our presence on the East Coast, and in particular, expand our reach into the high-density New York City region.”

MGM Resorts already has a significant East coast presence with the Borgata in Atlantic City and MGM National Harbor in Maryland. The firm is also building the MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, which is scheduled for an August launch.

As part of the deal to buy Empire City, $260m of the total $850m spend will be in MGM common stock. MGM will pay a further $50m if the location is granted a live gaming licence by the close of 2022 and if the licence is accepted by the end of 2024.

Empire City currently has more than 5,200 slots and electronic gaming tables, multiple restaurants, live harness racing, and harness and thoroughbred simulcast horse racing. For the year end to March, the business generated circa $230m in net revenues and approximately $70m in adjusted cash flow.

The acquisition remains subject to regulatory approval, but should be completed during the early part of 2019. The location is currently under the ownership of the Rooney family, which purchased it in 1972. It also owns the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers.