Resorts World New York Gains Expansion Support from Queens Community Leaders

Posted on: March 25, 2021, 03:16h. 

Last updated on: March 25, 2021, 04:24h.

Resorts World New York City (RWNY) hopes to transition sooner than later from a slots and electronic gaming venue into a full-fledged casino with live table game dealers and sportsbook. Numerous community leaders also hope that happens shortly.

Resorts World New York casino Empire City
A slots player at Resorts World New York City is pictured. The casino hopes to soon include table games with live dealers in its sea of slots and electronic gaming devices. (Image: The New York Times)

The state legislature in Albany is considering lifting the moratorium that prevents table games downstate until 2023. A coalition in Queens has formed to express support for earmarking one of the three full-scale casino permits for Resorts World. The group includes the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Economic Development Corporation, Jamaica YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, and Queens Centers for Progress.  

Even several clergy members gave their blessing for RWNY to expand its operations.

COVID-19 has absolutely ravaged our city and state,” the coalition wrote Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Senate Majority Leader and Temporary President Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx). “Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have lost their jobs, tax revenues that support vital services are drying up, and nonprofits are facing existential threats to their survival.”

The coalition says Resorts World has lived up to its promises, delivering more than $3 billion for public schools and local community organizations since opening nearly 10 years ago. Allowing the casino to expand its operations, the group claims, will result in an additional 1,000 unionized jobs, and replenish lost tax revenue and community aid.

Resorts World Hailed as Community Partner

The letter to Cuomo and two state leaders was signed by almost three dozen community leaders and organizations. Signees include civil rights groups, economic development advocates, and various business entities. 

New York lawmakers are considering a budget proposal that would immediately free the three downstate full-scale casino licenses from their 2023 moratoriums. While it has long been expected that Resorts World and Empire City in Yonkers would be the front-runners for two of the licenses, there’s no guarantee they will be afforded expanded gaming privileges.  

Queens Chamber of Commerce President Tom Grech says it’s time for the state to reward Resorts World for its ongoing commitment to Queens and the surrounding region. 

“Our borough and our local business community have benefited greatly from Resorts World,” Grech declared in a companion letter to the state officials. “RWNY attracts tourists, catalyzes economic activity that supports small businesses, creates jobs for local residents, and generates billions in tax revenue.

“Allowing RWNY to become a full-scale gaming destination will only increase the positive impact they have on our borough, and help the entire region recover from the devastation brought on by the pandemic,” he concluded.

RW, Empire City Betting Favorites

The odds on where the three downstate casinos will one day be allocated favor both Resorts World and Empire City. The latest New York Senate version of the 2021-22 budget bill provides the two current slots and e-gaming casinos an advantage.

The legislation, if passed, would task the New York Gaming Commission with reviewing casino proposals for the three licenses. However, 10 percent of the total grade would be dependent on the bidder’s ability “to commence gaming operations more quickly relative to other applicants, in the interest of making revenue available to the state in an expeditious manner.”