Casino Town Hall, Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. (NYU College of Dentistry, 345 E. 24th St.)

Casino Town Hall, Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. (NYU College of Dentistry, 345 E. 24th St.)

Our elected representatives will hear community feedback on a proposal by the developer Soloviev Group for a casino in Midtown East called Freedom Plaza. The proposal includes 1,325 apartments with more than 500 of them permanently affordable. The proposal calls for a hotel, two residential towers, retail space, a human rights museum, public green space, and a partially subterranean casino operated by Mohegan from 38th to 41st Streets east of First Avenue. 

For an applicant to obtain a license, they must demonstrate community support by gaining the statutorily required two-thirds vote of a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) which holds public meetings and takes testimony from the public. The membership of each Community Advisory Committee depends on the proposed site location, with members being appointed by the mayor and governor and the remaining seats being filled by the applicable elected officials. In this instance, the CAC will be constituted as follows:

  1. Appointee chosen by NYS Governor
  2. Appointee chosen by NYC Mayor 
  3. Applicable NYS Senator: Senator Kristen Gonzalez 
  4. Applicable NYS Assemblymember: Assemblymember Harvey Epstein
  5. Applicable Borough President: Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine
  6. Applicable City Councilmember: Councilmember Keith Powers

The Gaming Facility Location Board (GFLB) can only consider applications that are approved by a two-thirds threshold of the CAC.

What’s happening next:

  • In January 2023, the GFLB issued a request for applications (RFA).
  • Applicants were given opportunities to ask two rounds of questions about the RFA, which concluded on October 6, 2023.
  • The GFLB must now respond to the latest round of questions from the applicants for the next step in the process to occur. As of [January 4, 2024], the GFLB has not yet responded to the latest round of questions. Once they do, that information will be available here:
  • The CAC process begins 30 days after the second round of questions is answered by the GFLB.
  • Following the establishment of the CAC, a vote deadline is set, and public hearings are scheduled.

The purpose of this town hall is to gather community input and make sure that the voices of those who live in this community and the surrounding areas have a say in the decision-making process regarding the establishment of a casino in our area. Community involvement is crucial in shaping the future of our district.


Text courtesy of AM Harvey Epstein