MGM Resorts International has unveiled a massive investment plan to rebuild Yonkers Raceway in New York. The gaming conglomerate has planned to invest the staggering amount of US$500 million on the state’s harness track, which will become 122 years old this year. The plan comes at an ideal moment as the state’s horse racing industry prepares for life after the unprecedented situation.

The overhaul of the horse racing oval is long-overdue as the last time it received any significant upgrades was back in 2006. The venue is one of the state’s most iconic harness racing properties, and it was purchased by MGM Resorts in 2019 for US$850 million in cash and stock.

Time for Upgrades

However, upgrades have been made to the horse racing facility during the last 15 years, but nowhere near the newest US$500 million recent ones.  Over 8,000 tons of new surface were installed on the oval’s half-mile sector as the most recent addition to the track. This comprised 6,000 tons of recycled track material, as well as 64 tons of lime and other surfacing materials, all of which were used to reinforce the track’s surface.

The revamping began on May 31 and was completed on June 9 during the off-season. This came just in time for the opening of the new season, and the NYS government eased previously unprecedented situation restrictions. The revamped track can now hold events for 234 days a year, allowing it to resume normal operations.

MGM Resorts plans to show some of the new features at the horse racing facility in the coming weeks, when the track hosts the US$500,000 MGM Grand Messenger Stakes and the US$500,00 MGM Yonkers Trot. Next month, on July 2, those events will be part of the harness racing Triple Crown legs. The company believes that the equine races will attract a large number of fans who will be able to enjoy the innovations.

Furthermore, the company expects that the upcoming racing season, as well as the track’s new upgrades, will be able to attract a larger crowd to its Empire City Casino. The gaming venue is connected to the track and features over 5,000 slot machines and electronic table games for players to enjoy.

NYRA Bet Deal

The gaming company has announced a partnership with NYRA Bet, the New York Racing Association’s official online betting platform. The company will have access to the platform’s complete range of Thoroughbred, Harness, and Quarter Horse racing offerings from more than 200 tracks around the world as a result of this agreement.  Fans can access the app via Android, iOS, and desktop devices.


MGM Resorts acknowledges its responsibility to its many gambling customers, and the company has recently acquired GameSense’s services. This is a player education program developed by the BCLC in British Columbia that offers guidelines and advice to players who are having problems with their gambling habits. The company utilizes the program in its Massachusetts casino properties.