Resorts World NYC Going Big With $5 Billion Plan To Transform Into Full-Scale Casino

Written By Grant Lucas on March 1, 2024
Rendering of Resorts World NYC as part of $5 billion plan to become fully fledged downstate New York casino

Resorts World New York City has plans to receive one of the three licenses for a fully fledged downstate casino license. Already an established racino and video lottery terminal (VLT), Resorts World wants more.

And on Friday, the company unveiled “a once-in-a-generation project,” according to a press release, “set to not only transform the entertainment landscape in New York City but benefit all Empire State residents through massive job creation, the development of a world-class entertainment resort and the delivery of billions in tax revenue.”

The $5 billion investment represents the “next chapter of growth” for Resorts World.

“We’re proud to have grown with the Queens community for over a decade,” Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting Americas East. “When we stood here more than a dozen years ago to break ground on Resorts World New York City, our vision extended well beyond that already-ambitious original plan – today, that vision can soon become reality.”

“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.”

Details of $5 billion investment for Resorts World NYC

The announcement made it appear as if this project would only get underway once Resorts World earns one of the three downstate licenses, which could open an avenue to offer NY online casinos once lawmakers legalize the vertical.

The investment would include full, Las Vegas-style gaming while creating jobs as soon as the end of 2024. For decades, the press release details, elected officials and policymakers have looked to transform the longtime property into a state-of-the-art entertainment and gaming destination. If awarded a downstate license, Resorts World NYC would be able to bring that vision to life.

And with the help of some highly famous residents, including iconic rapper Nas and former NBA champion and current TNT analyst Kenny Smith.

“This is an ambitious project that will give new opportunities to the hard-working families who call Queens home, attract top-tier talent, and build up the next generation of leaders,” Nas said in a statement. “Clearly, with this project, the world is ours.”

Included in Resorts World’s plans is a Kenny “The Jet” Smith Academy, led by the eponymous NBA player, a featured part of a $50 million pledge in start-up funding for the Genting Innovation Campus. The project will also include a community health and wellness center, a Queens STEAM Institute and $20 million for related initiatives.

“Resorts World came to me with a clear goal of fostering tomorrow’s athletes, student athletes and leaders both on and off the court,” Smith said. “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.”

Resorts World NYC proposes one of largest casino floors in the world

Resorts World NYC stands as the state’s largest taxpayer, according to the press release, generating over $4 billion in tax revenue for public education in New York since opening in 2011. Per the announcement, if warded a full-scale license, the state would realize “an immediate $500 million financial windfall” from initial casino licence fees alone as well as “hundreds of millions of additional dollars in new, direct annual revenue.”

In addition, the racino is the largest employer of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, the labor union that represents casino gaming employees in New York. With a downstate license, Resorts World would be able to increase its workforce four-fold, up to 5,000 permanent union jobs, more than half of which would begin work within the first 100 days of casino operations. What’s more, construction alone would create 5,000 jobs.

Resorts World NYC would also create two million square feet of entertainment, gaming, retail, dining and convention space. Currently, the racino spans one million square feet.

The 350,000-square-foot casino floor would become one of the largest in the world, and the project will also integrate 1,600 new hotel rooms on top of the existing 400.

The spotlight will also shine on a propose 7,000-seet entertainment venue as well as a “lively and sunlit” Parkside Conservatory that will provide “unfettered views to a new community park and vibrant landscaped promenade below.”

Photo by Resorts World
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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