Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park is looking to hit the jackpot as it plans to spend $400 million to build a new hotel and convention complex while adding 1,000 new video-lottery terminals (VLTs).
According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the proposal aims to add a 400-room hotel, 20,000-square-foot spa and resort, and a minimum of 140,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. Additional room for food, retail and casino expansion have also been proposed.
“The Aqueduct is the right place and Resorts Casino is the right partner to bring in jobs to the community and much-needed economic resources,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, who is based out of Howard Beach.
The plan would expand Resorts World operations at Aqueduct Racetrack by 750,000 square feet.
On June 27, Resorts World Casino President Ryan Eller, discussed the proposal with the New York state Franchise Oversight Board. Eller expects the new complex to be opened in April 2019.
A spokesman for Resorts World told the WSJ that the multimillion-dollar expansion would be built on a parking lot on the west side of the casino. The expansion is currently awaiting approval from the state Franchise Oversight Board.
The additional video-lottery terminals would add to the 4,500 electronic gambling machines already in operation on Resorts World grounds. While a percentage of the existing revenue from VLTs is allocated to the New York Racing Association — which operates thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga — some of the revenue from the new VLTs will be provided to the Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting (OTB) Corporation.
Nassau OTB had proposed building a VLT casino of its own at Belmont Park, but abandoned its plan after the state approved the 1,000 new VLTs at Resorts World through legislation passed this year. Nassau County is expecting to receive a minimum of $9 million in revenue from the added machines in their first year of operation, a spokesman for Norma Gonsalves, presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislator, told the WSJ. Each year after, Nassau County could receive up to $25 million, he told WSJ.
Other portions of revenue generated from the electronic gambling terminals would go to the support horse racing and breeding and the state education fund.
“Resorts World is 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,” Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. said in a press release issued Wednesday.