Editorial | Place your bets on table games in NYC

Diverse Group of People Playing Blackjack In a Casino
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If you’ve got a smartphone in New York City, you can now place a bet on just about any sports contest going on in America.

But if betting on sports isn’t your thing, and you instead want to enjoy a night at a blackjack or poker table, you’ll need to either hop on the thruway about a 100 miles upstate, or cross the Hudson River bridges or tunnels to New Jersey.

That doesn’t make very much sense, right?

New York City may be getting a new infusion of funds through the mobile sports betting enterprises that launched here on Jan. 8, but it’s still missing out on traditional gaming. The only local options for games like baccarat, craps, blackjack and poker are of the video kind, available at the Resorts World New York City Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens; or just over the Bronx/Westchester border line, at MGM Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway.

Since voters approved table game casinos in New York in 2013, New York state authorized seven licenses. Just four were issued to casino operators, all of them upstate. 

The three open licenses should go to operators setting up shop in the New York City area. Resorts World New York City and Empire City are natural fits to get licenses; they each have plenty of room to accommodate table game facilities. 

The third could go just about anywhere else from Manhattan all the way out east to the Hamptons. 

Adding three full gaming ventures to the New York City area would be a significant boon for the city’s recovering economy. It would keep local bettors close to home, keeping their business and tax dollars locally rather than sending them to other regions of the country.

Thousands of new jobs would also be created here, opening up additional economic opportunities for New Yorkers of every walk of life to advance.

Casinos in the city would also help lure in new clientele from other parts of the country and world. Travelers would have yet another reason to come to New York rather than other parts of the world, such as Las Vegas or Monte Carlo — and our tourism industry would certainly appreciate their business.

Just two decades ago, horse racing and the lottery were the only games in town. But today, you can drop $100 on the NFL playoffs, a Knicks or Nets game, or any other sporting event in the world, all with the touch of a phone.

If you can do that here, then there’s no reason to keep table games in New York City off the table any longer.