Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano Announces Sale of Empire City Casino to MGM Resorts to Include Payment of Up to $8 Million to City
YONKERS, NY – October 25, 2018 -- Mayor Mike Spano announced today that MGM Resorts International’s acquisition of Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway will result in a transfer tax payment of between $7 million and $8 million to the City of Yonkers.
MGM and the City have been meeting to work out the details of the transaction with the goal of a first quarter closing between MGM and the Rooney family, which currently owns the casino and racetrack.
Mayor Spano noted that, “MGM clearly feels they are investing not only in a casino but in the City. 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. We’ve also said we want a commitment to corporate responsibility and true partnership. So far that’s been an easy message to deliver, and their commitment on the transfer tax is proof of that.”
Mayor Spano, who when he was an Assemblyman, sponsored the original legislation to allow video lottery gaming at Yonkers Raceway, said he would support efforts to secure a full casino license that would allow table games with live dealers.
“There is space at the Empire Casino property right now that is perfect for hotels, entertainment and other development,” Mayor Spano added, “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.”
Majority Leader of the Yonkers City Council, Michael Sabatino commented, “We welcome MGM Resorts to Yonkers with open arms, knowing their presence will certainly expand an already successful, competitive destination in our region. The payment of the transfer tax is an acknowledgment of their commitment to Yonkers and the future they plan to invest in here.”
“This is a great intro between the City of Yonkers and MGM Resorts,” said Yonkers Councilmember John Rubbo, who represents the district in which the Casino is located. “I look forward to deepening the relationship between the community and our new neighbor.”
The exact amount of the transfer tax is subject to final valuation of the property, but MGM and the City expect that the aggregate amount of the tax to be paid by MGM and the Rooney family will be between $7 million and $8 million. The City would receive the funds upon closing of the transaction, which is anticipated to be in the first quarter of 2019.