As per the sources, the most anticipated casino gaming license of Seminole Hard Rock in NY has been intricated by its business activities connected to Russia. The famous brand Hard Rock was first started as a Hard Rock Cafe in 1971 in London by two Americans, Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton. The Seminole Tribe of Florida took over the Hard Rock brand in 2007.
For a long time, it was expected that Hard Rock would come up with the announcement for its license application to an American hedge fund manager and owner of the New York Mets, Steve Cohen, to build a casino in Willets Point, Queens, which is next to CitiField in New York. However, it has not happened to date. As per the sources of the bidding process, the connection between the theme bar and restaurant and Russia might be the reason.
Knowing that New York has the largest Ukrainian-origin population, Governor Kathy Hochul released an executive order stating that this state would not entertain the activities of an operator supporting an unfair war by Russia and the killing of innocent Ukrainians. She further noted that all the related government agencies were ordered not to undertake new contracts or renew existing contracts with any legal entity doing business in Russia. Kathy, along with the mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, has asked that all public or pension funds be removed from Russia.
A company spokesman from Hard Rock, addressing this issue, confirmed that Hard Rock does not possess or operate any real estate in Russia. Moreover, the independently owned Hard Rock Cafe in Moscow closed a few months ago. However, the independent operator of the Hard Rock Cafe in St. Petersburg agreed to cease its operations on March 13th.
A spokesman for the state Gaming Commission stated that no date had been declared yet for a casino bid and that potential bidders like Hard Rock and other popular casino operators have not yet submitted formal proposals.