Yonkers Raceway and Empire City Casino have been a staple of the Yonkers scene for more than a century. For nearly five decades, the 97-acre property and gaming arena has been owned by the Rooney family. (You’ve probably eaten at namesake Dan Rooney’s Café & Bar.) Yesterday morning, Empire City announced it reached an agreement with MGM Resorts International to sell both the property and operations for $850 million.
“We have been a partner of New York State and its communities for forty-six years, and it was important to us that we identify an entity that could build on the strong foundation we have established and bring our vision to fruition,” says President and CEO of Empire City Tim Rooney, Sr in a statement. “Our vision for this property has always been to develop it into one of the world’s greatest entertainment destinations.”
While MGM didn’t announce any new plans for the 97-acre site, the announcement comes hot on the heels of the Supreme Court decision to allow states to legislate the legality of sports betting in their jurisdictions. With full gaming licenses that would allow card and table betting being high on Empire City’s list of priorities for some time now, the move is set to position MGM Resorts in the buyer’s seat at a very advantageous time for the gambling industry.
Pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to go through some time in the first quarter of 2019.