Empire City Casino executive Uri Clinton resigns as president, COO
Tuesday 3rd December 2019
YONKERS - Empire City Casino executive Uri Clinton has resigned, nearly a year after MGM announced that he had been tapped as president and chief operating officer of the casino and racetrack.
Clinton will continue to support "our efforts to develop a major entertainment and casino facility in Yonkers, New York as a consultant," said Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts. CFO Ed Domingo is responsible for day-today property operations in the interim.
Clinton was named to the post shortly before Las Vegas-based casino giant MGM purchased Empire City and Yonkers Raceway for $850 million last January from the Rooney family, which owned the track and racino since 1972.
With more than 5,000 video-lottery terminals, Empire City has one of the largest gaming floors in the country, and it competes most directly with Resorts World New York City in Queens for the area's gamblers. It employs 1,200 people, the largest private employer in Yonkers.
Mayor Mike Spano, who praised Clinton's appointment to the post in 2018, said Clinton was instrumental in getting MGM off to a great start in Yonkers and he set the stage for strong involvement in the community.
"MGM has a deep management bench, so we look forward to continuing to work with them in bringing more economic development to Yonkers and full gaming to Empire Casino," Spano added.
MGM is seeking to bolster its investment by getting the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to lift a moratorium on new casino licenses that doesn't expire until 2023.
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Clinton, an MGM executive since 2014, has pitched ideas for the facility that includes a hotel and an entertainment venue for concerts and sports but has stressed that none of it can happen without a full-scale gambling license from the state of New York.
"What our vision is is to have an opportunity to operate an integrated resort that meets the needs of the county, leads to tourism and then also creates a world-class opportunity," Clinton has said.
Clinton had vowed to make a broader push in Albany to get the ban lifted on downstate casinos in 2020. He has also met with several lawmakers in Albany in hopes of enticing them to allow MGM to have a casino license before the moratorium ends.
USA TODAY Network's New York State Editor Joseph Spector, contributed to this report.
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