BY JON CRONIN
The Resorts World Casino New York City has announced a Fall 2016 groundbreaking for their new $500 million dollar addition to their successful Ozone Park facility.
The new development will include a hotel, meeting space and 1,000 new video lottery terminals on top of their recent increase from 5,000 to 5,500.
A spokesperson stated, “We have begun pre-development planning of a $300 million to $500 million expansion which will be announced in more detail in the next several months.”
As the summer moves on, construction “will be a collaborative process with the all stakeholders, including the Gaming Commission, organized labor, NYRA and our local community, to ensure this is a net positive for all New Yorkers, and the state’s education fund,” he said.
They added that this construction will be the type of development the local community partners want to see. The expansion will take place on the western area of the site, which is currently a large surface parking lot. The construction is expected to create little disturbance to current operations.
Howard Kamph, president of the Ozone Park Civic Association, said the civic was in support of previous projects that were going to create convention centers in Ozone Park. He said, “We’ll get jobs and more going into the school system.” He noted that they may not have been in favor of the project but “they’ve been good neighbors to begin with.”
The casino spokesperson also noted that they may consider future growth that could include additional hotels, an entertainment venue, retail and mixed-use space.
“The proposal by Resorts World to expand its facility to include a hotel, spa and convention center has the potential to reap huge economic benefits on not only the surrounding neighborhood of Ozone Park, but the entire borough of Queens and the state,” said state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach).
Addabbo added, “This project would create over a thousand jobs in construction, design and other fields during the planning and building stages as well as thousands of long-term positions at each of the new facilities once the project is completed. Local job creation is crucial to our economy and such a large influx of job opportunities is rare.
He pointed out that additional gaming money from casinos across New York fund public education, now with additional 1,000 Video Lottery Terminals at the site that funding will grow even more.
Addabbo stated that Resorts World has already contributed $1.5 billion dollars to the state’s education system. “They are already the biggest contributor to this fund in all of New York state, illustrating the popularity of the gaming facilities at this location and how expanding the opportunity to play and experience the new amenities would only lead to more crucial dollars for state education and revenue,” said Addabbo.
Michael Levoff, senior vice president of Public Affairs for Genting Americas, the casino’s parent company, said the casino has accomplished this funding “in less than five years of operation.”
“By growing the market, our modeling as well as independent analysis show, net gains for the State education fund that far outpace the capital allowance. RWNY has met with concerned state agencies, including the Gaming Commission, to explain this modeling,” a spokesperson said.
Levoff added, “This new expansion, and its corresponding increase in visitation to our facility, will result in a boost in revenue for both New York’s education fund and the state’s horse racing industry – while also acting as a catalyst for additional economic development in our local Queens community. Beyond providing additional revenue, this expansion will also add approximately 1,500 good-paying careers for New Yorkers and thousands of construction jobs. ”
They believe that although there is a threat of Nassau County getting their own casino they will eliminate the risk of cannibalization from a Nassau VLT facility.
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