Resorts World Teases Concert Hall Expansion Plan as It Vies for Full Downstate License

  • Resorts World is planning to develop a new 7,000-seat theater
  • It will hold a press conference on Thursday to provide more details
  • Many other big names are battling it out for a NYC casino license
Resorts World Casino
The Resorts World racino in Queens has revealed some details of its expansion plans if it gets a full downstate New York casino license. [Image:]

A frontrunner

The race for the three coveted downstate New York casino licenses is heating up, with many big names in the gaming industry now battling it out. The existing slots parlors at the Yonkers Raceway and Aqueduct Racetrack are currently the frontrunners for two of the permits.

The latter is home to the Resorts World New York City racino which currently offers more than 6,500 slot machines. It’s aiming to get the green light to expand its offering to also offer table games like baccarat, poker, roulette, and blackjack.

the development of a new 7,000-seat concert venue

As part of that expansion, the operator has also teased some other plans. This would include the development of a new 7,000-seat concert venue. It also plans to invest $50m to develop a Genting Innovation Campus that would feature an academy for up-and-coming sports stars.

Some interesting ideas

Resorts World is holding a press conference on Thursday to provide more details. Some major entertainers who hail from the local Queens area will attend the event. The total development plan would generate 10,000 jobs between the construction process and when the facility is fully open for business, according to the operator.

Resorts World is the biggest taxpayer in New York State

Malaysia-based casino company Genting owns Resorts World, opening the property in 2011 after the state’s lawmakers gave the green light for racinos. Resorts World is the biggest taxpayer in New York State, contributing more than $4bn to the state since it started operating about a dozen years ago.

The owner has pumped about $1.1bn into the property over the years, including the development of a 400-room hotel near JFK Airport. Part of its business plan when originally securing a racino license was attracting stranded travellers at the airport that is just minutes away.

Race heating up

The availability of the three downstate casino licenses has attracted huge interest. Billionaire and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen hopes to develop a casino adjacent to the team’s Citi Field, while Jay-Z is backing a Caesars Entertainment-operated casino on Times Square.

Genting currently has three casinos in the US. As well as the Queens property, it has a casino on the Las Vegas Strip and another in upstate New York.

Other sites under consideration include Coney Island, Hudson Yards, and Ferry Point. Each license will cost $500m and lawmakers hope that these casinos will be a strong revenue driver for the state going forward. The official application process has not yet begun and it could take until next year to issue the approvals.

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