It’s no surprise the Las Vegas-based company would sign up a lobbyist in the state: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing to legalize full-fledged casino gambling, the Legislature took a first step toward passing the required constitutional amendment earlier this year, and several other casino giants positioning themselves to get in on the action have signed with lobbyists in the state.
And billionaire Steve Wynn, the company’s CEO, has already indicated an interest in expanding in the city – in Manhattan, in particular.
The chance to locate a casino in New York City also may have opened up recently when negotiations on a proposal by rival casino company, the Malaysian casino conglomerate Genting, fell apart. In his State of the State address this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted Genting’s plan to build a convention center at the site of its existing Queens casino, which is limited to electronic slots.
Genting, whose casino at Aqueduct Raceway has been raking in profits, had hoped to get some sort of exclusivity agreement for full-fledged gaming in New York City in exchange for building a convention center at the site. Now it will have to compete with other companies, like Wynn.
Wynn’s lobbying agreement with LJM Rad was made on June 1st, the same day the governor acknowledged that his administration’s talks with Genting had broken down.
According to the contract, LJM Rad will lobby the state Legislature, and the filing lists the administrative, executive and legislative branches as entities to be lobbied.
Other major casino companies who have signed deals with lobbyists in the state include Boyd Gaming and MGM.
The issue is likely to heat up next year, when the Legislature would have to pass a second resolution supporting a constitutional amendment. The amendment to legalize casino gambling would then go before voters in a referendum.
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