Posted on: December 8, 2021, 09:18h. 

Last updated on: December 8, 2021, 11:00h.

SpringOwl Asset Management CEO Jason Ader says he’s partnering with Japanese gaming giant Universal Entertainment Corp. to submit an integrated casino resort bid for New York City.

Jason Ader New York casino Universal Entertainment
Jason Ader stands in his New York City office earlier this year. Ader and Japan’s Universal Entertainment Group plan to pursue New York City for a casino resort development. But competition for what’s expected to be just a single gaming license will be intense. (Image: Bloomberg/Casino.org)

Friday marks the Dec. 10 deadline for casino firms to respond to the New York State Gaming Commission’s request for information (RFI). The RFI is regarding downstate commercial casinos with slot machines, table games, and sports betting. The RFI will be used by state officials to gauge interest and possible locations, designs, and amenity details. Such companies as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are believed among those who would seek to build in NYC.

The Gaming Commission is currently only fielding RFIs — not full casino presentations. The state’s 2013 gaming expansion act authorized seven commercial casinos, but included a 10-year moratorium on downstate casinos. That was done in order to allow four upstate gaming resorts to operate free of competition.

While the downstate ban is set to run through 2023, there’s an effort in the Albany capital to begin the licensing process beforehand.

Ader Ready to Bet

The world’s richest people are often the world’s biggest visionaries. And Jason Ader has a grand concept for New York City.

Ader, a former gaming industry analyst before venturing into private equity with his own firm, expects to be in the bidding pool. He plans to differentiate his pitch from the others by featuring an array of unique components, such as the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading floor and a rooftop landing pad for flying cars. The price tag: $3 billion.

The goal is to have a differentiated but comprehensive approach to entertainment that goes beyond casino gaming with some pretty cool elements,” Ader revealed to Bloomberg.

Ader’s development partner — Universal Entertainment — owns and operates Okada Manila in the Philippines. It is the only casino in the world that is owned by a Japanese corporation. However, Okada Manila recently underwent an ownership reorganization by merging with Ader’s 26 Capital, a special purpose acquisition company that is now traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker “ADER.”

Competition Steep

The New York State Gaming Commission has three casino licenses to issue downstate after 2023. The odds greatly favor two of those coveted permits being awarded to MGM’s Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and Genting Group’s Resorts World New York City in Queens.

Empire City and Resorts World currently operate video lottery terminals (VLTs), which closely mimic traditional slot machines. The racinos additionally feature electronic table games. Full-scale licenses would allow the two venues to bring in the latest slot machines, live dealer table games, and sports betting.

That could leave just one casino license remaining for New York City. Sands, the largest casino operator in the world in terms of gaming revenue, is in the process of selling off its Las Vegas assets in a deal valued at $6.25 billion. Soon, flush with cash, Sands is focused on New York and Texas for its next domestic play.



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