$850M Empire City Casino Sale to Close in January

John Jordan | December 26, 2018

Aerial View of Empire City Casino

YONKERS—MGM Resorts International reports its previously announced $850-million purchase of the Empire City Casino property here is scheduled to close in a January.

MGM recently announced the planned closing of its purchase in connection with its appointment of Uri Clinton as president and chief operating officer of Empire City Casino. Clinton will head operations at the casino upon the Las Vegas-based gaming company’s closing on the property and completion of licensing requirements that are expected in January.


Clinton will oversee daily operations at Empire City and provide strategic direction and leadership for the property. For the past several years, he has managed MGM Resorts’ efforts to explore development opportunities in Connecticut and New York, and will maintain an active role in these development efforts, MGM states.

“Uri’s proven leadership and wide range of skills have been instrumental in the company’s development efforts in New York and Connecticut, and he will continue to build on those successes with this new role,” said MGM Resorts president Bill Hornbuckle. “Empire City is already known for its world-class integrated gaming, racing and dining experience, and we are thrilled to welcome Empire City to the MGM Resorts family. We look forward to further solidifying MGM Resorts’ presence as the entertainment leader on the East Coast and in the New York City region.”

In May 2018, MGM Resorts International and MGM Growth Properties LLC reached an agreement to purchase the Empire City Casino for $850 million. At the time, MGM had anticipated closing on the property sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

The deal calls for the MGM entities to acquire both the casino and raceway operations at the 97-acre Empire City property located off the New York State Thruway in southern Westchester County. As part of the deal, MGP will lease back the property to a subsidiary of MGM Resorts, which will operate the property.

MGM Resorts also agreed to pay an additional $50 million if Empire City is awarded a license by New York State for live table games on or prior to Dec. 31, 2022 and MGM Resorts accepts such license by Dec. 31, 2024.

Clinton joined MGM Resorts as VP and deputy general counsel in 2014 and was promoted to SVP and Legal Counsel in 2016. During this time, he provided legal advice and counseling on gaming jurisdictions before transitioning to global development in 2018. Prior to joining the company, Clinton held leadership roles in legal affairs with several companies, including Baha Mar, Ltd., Multimedia Games, Inc. and Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Clinton holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, received a juris doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law and received a master’s degree in management from Vanderbilt University.

Empire City Casino is one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast. Featuring 5,300 slot machines, electronic three card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo, Empire City Casino also offers year-round harness racing and international simulcasting and live entertainment. The property also offers a host of dining options including Nonno’s Trattoria; Dan Rooney’s, a high-energy sports bar; Alley 810, a craft cocktail lounge with retro bowling lanes and the International Food Court or Lil’ Cocina.

The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 28 unique hotel offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company in 2018 opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai.



John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth