Yonkers Raceway is among the most historic harness racing tracks in the United States. It opened in 1899 and was then known as Empire City Racetrack. The one-half mile dirt standardbred track is situated at the corner of Central Park Avenue and Yonkers Avenue in Yonkers, N.Y., close to the New York City border.
In 2006, Yonkers Raceway underwent a $225 million renovation in order to install 7,500 slot machines in what became known as Empire City Casino. Another $50 million expansion in 2013 added an additional 66,000 square feet, including a new gaming floor with 700 more slot machines and two new restaurants, bringing the total on site up to five.
In 2019, gaming giant MGM purchased Yonkers Raceway and Empire City Casino. Their long-range plans are to implement online sports betting through their BetMGM brand once it is legalized in New York State. As well, MGM is lobbying to get Empire City Casino upgraded to full casino status, which would permit the installation of table games on the casino floor.
Transforming to a full casino would create thousands of high-quality jobs and new economic opportunities in communities across New York. In fact, a recent poll indicates that Yonkers residents strongly support the conversion of Empire City into a full commercial casino.
There is no hotel on the property at Yonkers Raceway/Empire City Casino. However, there are several hotels in the vicinity of the facility.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Yonkers is conveniently located minutes from Empire Casino and New York City. Begin each day with their complimentary breakfast buffet featuring fresh eggs, fruit, yogurt and waffle station. Stay fit at their 24-hour fitness center and indoor heated pool. Unwind after an adventurous day of exploring at their lobby bar and lounge. Rates start at $109.
The brand-new Courtyard Yonkers features 154 guest rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi, mini-fridge, microwave, and flat-screen Smart TVs. The hotel overlooks the banks of the Hudson River.
Just one mile away from Empire City Casino, the Hyatt Place New York/Yonkers is a sure bet when visiting Yonkers. Remember to request the MGM discount using corporate discount code 46332 when making a reservation.
The Residence Inn Yonkers is Westchester County’s premier all-suite hotel, with 144 well-kept rooms awaiting Empire City guests looking to relax after a day or night at the casino. Complimentary daily breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking are available to all guests.
With 5,000 of the hottest slot machines to choose from, Empire City Casino offers a full variety of exciting game themes, as well as video poker, progressives and keno with individual and multi-denominations ranging from one cent to $100, on both reels and slot machines.
MGM is working with state lawmakers to bring a full-scale casino and entertainment destination to Yonkers. While lobbying to gain full casino status and the addition of table games, Empire City Casino is offering electronic versions of both blackjack and roulette. Minimum bets start at just $10 and offer 3 to 2 payouts on blackjack.
As well, in anticipation of the eventual legalization of online gambling in New York, Empire City Casino currently offers players the chance to sign up for an account and play some of their casino games for free online. They also provide a video blackjack strategy guide and tips for newcomers.
Empire City Casino is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While Yonkers Raceway does offer live and online wagering through Empire City Bets on horse racing, there is no physical brick and mortar sportsbook on the premises. However, MGM does plan to launch its BetMGM online sports betting site in New York once the state confirms legalization of online wagering.
Along with life harness racing, Yonkers offers simulcast wagering on horse racing from around the world, including all of the sport’s major stakes races. Yonkers Raceway is the home of three major harness events: the Yonkers Trot, Art Rooney Pace and Messenger Stakes. The Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes are part of the Trotting and Pacing Triple Crowns, respectively, making Yonkers the only track to host legs of each gait’s Triple Crown.
Schedules for live and simulcast wagering and condition sheets, entries and results are all listed on the Empire City Casino web page.
Promotions & Loyalty Programs
BetMGM offers the M life Rewards program. All MGM players are members of the award-winning rewards program offered by MGM Resorts. That means players will be eligible to garner points toward perks at any MGM Resort around the world. These include personalized offers and casino promotions, dedicated windows at MGM sportsbooks and discounted and comped rooms.
Once New York opts to go live with online wagering, players can download the BetMGM mobile app. It works with both Android and iOS devices. BetMGM offers live streaming of several sporting events on their app.