Russian Business Ties May Harm Hard Rock’s NYC Casino Bid
- Hard Rock may work with the Mets owner to apply for a license
- Russian connection may harm the chances of obtaining a license.
- Last year, NY Governor issued an executive order banning state entities from working with Russia.
With three commercial casino licenses up for grabs in New York City, the best in the casino industry are vying for a spot in the new market. Many companies have already posted bids, like Wynn Resorts and Caesars. Hard Rock International is also supposedly interested, but Russian ties may stop the casino from submitting a bid.
Ties to Russia May be an Issue
The Hard Rock brand is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and is expected to apply for licensing with Mets owner Steve Cohen. The partnership would result in a casino being created next to CitiField, the home of the Mets.
The company has yet to file an application, with sources suggesting that it is due to its connection to Russia. New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued an order last year that stops any entity in the state from doing business with a firm from Russia. The executive order was issued shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Hochul stated that New York entities must refrain from entering a new contract or renewing a contract with an entity that conducts business in Russia. Hard Rock currently has two restaurants in Russia. One is in St. Petersburg, and the other is in Moscow.
No Longer Operating in Russia
For Hard Rock, the brand says that Russian ties are not an issue. The company announced this week that they do not own or operate any property in the country. Moscow Hard Rock was independently owned and closed a few months ago. The St. Petersburg location is also independently owned and is set to close in just a few weeks.
Hard Rock International also pointed out that since the war on Ukraine began, the company has joined the millions of people from around the world in condemning the action by Russia. Hard Rock previously vowed to suspend any future investments and development in the country. All profits from the two Russian locations will be donated to humanitarian effects in Ukraine.
The application process has no bid date, and additional companies may come forward with submissions. We should see a date set in the future, but for now, companies simply state what they plan to offer in NYC.
Bally’s wants to build a casino in The Bronx, with a venue located at Ferry Point. It is expected that Empire City and Resorts World will receive two of the licenses since they already offer slot gaming. If they are granted licensing, then it would leave just one remaining for the other bidders to vie for.
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