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Resorts World NYC Reveals Massive $5 Billion Pitch For Downstate Casino

Written By J.R. Duren on March 4, 2024
Resorts World NYC Development Project Rendering 1

Resorts World NYC is putting the “Big” in “Big Apple.” The company has unveiled a $5 billion development plan for a New York City casino, which it hopes will bolster its case to win one of three downstate casino licenses.

The sprawling proposal touches on everything from revenue and job creation to community benefits and celebrity endorsements.

The company revealed its plans to expand its Queens property at a news conference last week.

Resorts World NYC Development Rendering 2

Resorts World emphasizes casino projects’ impact on jobs and the economy

Resorts World’s new release served as a point-by-point argument for why it should get one of the three downstate casino licenses that are up for grabs.

It led with revenue and jobs that will be created. Resorts World pointed out the city will gain $500 million from the initial license fee. Additionally, NYC will earn “hundreds of millions” in tax revenue each year.

The same could be said of any casino, though. The fee is $500 million for everyone. Additionally, any competent casino operator that runs an NYC casino will bring in hundreds of millions in tax revenue.

Downstate NY casino project will create nearly 4,000 jobs

Resorts World went on to argue that its NYC casino development would create 3,750 jobs. It noted more than half of those jobs would start within 100 days of opening.

It added that the project would create an estimated 5,000 union construction jobs. Those jobs could start as early as this year.

Community leaders support downstate casino plans

Should Resorts World earn an NYC casino license, it plans to build a property that includes meeting, ballroom, and conference spaces. Should all go as planned, the casino would be home to the second-most meeting space of any facility in the city, according to Resorts World.

Resorts World tugged at the heartstrings, too, by detailing how its casino played a pivotal role in providing community support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queens Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton highlighted her borough’s relationship with Resorts World.

“They have been with us in good times and tough times ever since, giving both financial support and their time to this community,” Braton said in a Resorts World press release. “I know this partnership will only continue as Resorts World answers the immediate needs but also presents a vision for the future.”

Celebrities speak up for Resorts World NYC

Grammy-winning rapper Nas and NBA champion Kenny Smith, who grew up in Queens, offered their support for the Resorts World expansion project.

Nas called the proposed development “ambitious” and said it would “attract top-tier talent and build up the next generation of leaders.”

“Clearly, with this project, the world is ours,” he said.

Resorts World plans to build multiple education-related facilities, too, including a STEAM campus and a basketball academy run by Smith who commented:

“Resorts World came to me with a clear goal of fostering tomorrow’s athletes, student-athletes, and leaders both on and off the court. Their investment in this Academy will help us teach the next generation the nuances of the game on and off the court, as well as the social, economic, and cultural impact of sports. I’m thrilled to partner with them to improve the borough that raised me and take it to the next level.”

More details on what an expanded Resorts World NYC would look like

What makes the Resorts World proposal so captivating is its sheer scale. As mentioned, the plans include the second-biggest combined meeting space in the city. Additionally, the improved Resorts World NYC would include:

  • A 350,000-square-foot gaming floor that would be one of the world’s largest
  • Adding 1,600 hotel rooms to the property’s existing 400-room Hyatt Regency
  • A 7,000-seat concert and entertainment venue
  • Restaurants by celebrity chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Scott Conant
  • Working with the local community to offer insight into the city’s plans to transform Aqueduct Park into a housing development

Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting Americas East (the company that runs Resorts World’s Long Island casino), emphasized that the NYC community has plenty to gain from welcoming a Resorts World casino:

“Since we opened in 2011, we have been proud to work with New York City and State and the local community to deliver thousands of good-paying union jobs; billions of dollars in tax revenue to New York’s schoolchildren; and true partnership to hundreds of local non-profits. With the advent of the newly imagined Resorts World New York City, we can, and will, do far more.”

Resorts could face competition from Hard Rock

As it stands now, Resorts World is in the initial phase of earning a license. It has to wait for state regulators to open a license window. At that time, the company can submit a license application.

Until then, Resorts has to play the waiting game, which could be an uncomfortable one. New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International have pitched a proposal for a NYC casino in the parking lot of the Mets’ stadium in Willets Point.

It’s unlikely that regulators would approve two casinos on Long Island, especially two that would be about 30 minutes apart.

There are proposals in the state Assembly and Senate for New York online casinos, but both seem like longshots this year. Keep track of legislation with our online casino bill tracker.

Photo by Perkins Eastman
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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