The race to own a casino in New York City continues to intensify as new entrants join the race. The latest entrant is the 9 West billionaire, owning over 500,000 acres of land in the U.S.A, including one near the United Nations.
Stefan Soloviev, son of the late Sheldon Solow, has expressed interest in building a casino in Manhattan near the United Nations. While Stefan and his father did not have a perfect relationship, he inherited some of the $4.4 billion owned by his late father. He plans to use his wealth to venture into something new from what his father did.
Soloviev may have gained most of his wealth from inheritance. But, he has also accumulated significant wealth through his businesses. He now owns 9 West 57th St., an iconic Midtown skyscraper overlooking the Plaza Hotel and Central Park.
The 47-year-old billionaire uses his inherited wealth to invest in railroads, farming, and real estate. He now plans to venture into the U.S. gaming industry.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Soloviev is designing a blueprint for a casino resort. If the state and local authorities approve his plan, Soloviev will build a casino on his vacant land south of the United Nations Headquarters along the East River.
Casinos in Downstate
Commercial casinos have been legal in New York since 2013. The legalization allowed only four physical upstate casinos and three in the downstate.
Downstate includes Hudson Valley, Long Island, and five New York City boroughs. While the law allowed seven commercial casinos, operations at downstate casinos would wait until ten years were over. This would allow upstate casinos, including Resorts World Catskills, Tioga Downs, Rivers Schenectady, and Del Lago Resort & Casino, to operate without competition from downstate casinos.
The ten-year restriction ends in 2023. Resorts World New York City in Queens and Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway are favored to take two downstate Class III operating licenses. This leaves one license, which many bidders want to win.
There are several billionaire landowners and hedge fund owners interested in the license. For instance, Steve Cohen, New York Mets owner, is partnering with Hard Rock International to bid on a casino at his Citi Field MLB ballpark.
The owner of The Related Companies and Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, plans to build a casino with Wynn Resorts. The Related Companies is one of the biggest real estate companies, owning Hudson Yards, where Ross plans to build a casino.
Soloviev is the latest bidder. He plans to go big to build one of the biggest commercial casinos in New York.
Building a Casino in Midtown
Soloviev owns around six acres of land between 38th and 41st streets. Having a vacant space in Midtown is a rare thing. Speaking to Bloomberg, Soloviev expressed his excitement about what his land could turn into.
The billionaire plans to build a casino resort with 1,000 rooms. The land will also have other amenities, including a democracy museum and a Ferris wheel facing the East River.
Sheldon bought the land for $600 million in 2000. The property belonged to Consolidated Edison, including another three acres that Sheldon`s family sold.