Thor Equities offers glimpse of Coney Island casino as NYC bid continues

Rendering of proposed Coney Island Casino project in NY
Image: Thor Equities

A coalition of parties aiming to bring a land-based casino to Coney Island have released the first renderings of what the property would look like if it were to receive one of the three NYC casino licenses up for grabs. 

The group, comprising Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, The Chickasaw Nation and Legends, has revealed that the property will be called The Coney, and will be located down by the shores of the island. 

Renderings of the property show The Coney towering above the fairground attractions by the beach and feature what appears to be a rooftop bar. 

The imagery also shows that it would host seasonal events such as Winter Wonderland, with an ice rink depicted on one of the renderings as it aims to be a year-round location. 

Image: The Coney

The coalition has stated the project aims to boost the local economy on Coney Island by bringing year-round jobs and high-class entertainment to the area. 

Stating that Coney Island has been long-forgotten in the shadow of Brooklyn and the rest of NYC, the coalition argued that The Coney would put the area back on the map and attract a wealth of visitors annually. 

A statement from the coalition read: “The first renderings show what’s possible by selecting Coney Island – an iconic community that’s been a beloved destination for generations of New Yorkers and people worldwide – as a casino and entertainment venue. 

“The project’s revitalizing power will help drive a Coney Island comeback for a community that has lagged behind Brooklyn and the rest of New York City in several areas, including a higher poverty rate, unemployment rate, and higher rates of New Yorkers without health insurance. 

“The Coney, a brand new, state-of-the-art, year-round entertainment venue, will provide jobs and help jump-start the economic revival of the legendary neighborhood.”

Brooklyn’s only bid but there is fierce competition

Whilst this Thor Equities-led coalition’s bid is the only bid to herald from the Brooklyn area, the battle for an NYC casino license is incredibly tough, with several interested parties vying for the three slots. 

Anybody wishing to occupy one of the three licenses must be willing to fund the project; the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board outlined that $1bn must be parted with comprising $500m for licensing fees and an additional $500m in investments.

There are plenty of interested bidders, too. A whole host of casino operators including Caesars, Wynn, Bally’s, Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Mohegan have expressed interest in holding a license, with the request for proposals currently out. 

The New York State Gaming Facility Location Board detailed that it has received ‘hundreds of questions’ from interested parties in the first part of the RfP and that staff are currently drafting responses before the next stage can begin.

The Board revealed that this process could take up to three weeks, following which interested parties will have four weeks to complete the next stage of the process. 

In the meantime, the people behind The Coney are canvassing the support of the local community, collecting names and contact details of those who support its bid. 

The group has begun a petition to show off its public support later in the process and has urged the local community to sign it. 

Calling for public support, the bidders stated: As a Southern Brooklyn resident, you support creating jobs and new economic growth by establishing a new casino and entertainment district in Coney Island. 

“For decades, our community, our families and our small businesses have been shortchanged and we have been waiting for the year-round economic opportunities that this project will finally make happen. 

“We urge our elected representatives and leaders to support this project and the jobs and career training for local residents that will develop into long-standing, fulfilling careers in entertainment and hospitality.”