Report: Vornado Realty Trust explores New York casino near Penn Station

Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City
Image: Massimo Salesi/Shutterstock

A new casino bid could be put forward in New York State soon, as the Vornado Realty Trust – New York City’s second-largest commercial landlord – may be looking to build a casino on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished Hotel Pennsylvania near Penn Station in the city.

According to a report in the New York Post, Vornado is exploring applying for a casino license for the location, but it doesn’t have a deal in place yet.

The potential new application comes as the New York State Gaming Commission goes through the process of selecting three sites in the state to build commercial casinos.

A Vornado spokesperson told the Post: “We are studying the possibility of applying for a casino license [in the Penn Station area], but we have no deal in place.

“Our most important criterion for any project is that it meet the economic development objectives and produce the transit and public improvements set forth in the state’s General Project Plan.”

No partner for the casino was mentioned, but the Post speculated that Vornado could collaborate with Rush Street Interactive Chairman Neil Gary Bluhm.

While the New York Gaming Facility Board never set a date for when casino applications needed to be submitted, the proxy date could be Feb. 3, as this is when its first round of questions to applicants will take place.

New York casino bids so far

With a minimum capital investment and license fee for applicants seeking to build a commercial casino of $500m each, several operations have expressed interest in different sites across the state.

Caesars Entertainment is bidding to construct a casino in Times Square near Broadway with the partnership of SL Green and Roc Nation. This bid has also received the backing of the Coalition for a Better Times Square, a collective of Times Square stakeholders.

Department store Saks Fifth Avenue’s parent company HBC has also proposed a casino project on the upper floors of the Saks Fifth Avenue building. 

MGM Resort’s Empire City Casino is also seeking a downstate New York casino license, while Las Vegas Sands is bidding for a license after it entered an agreement to acquire the long-term lease of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island.

Other bidders for a New York casino license include New York Mets Owner Steve Cohen, Bet on Games Holdings, Wynn Resorts, and a group consisting of Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation’s Global Gaming Solutions, and Legends Global Planning.