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Aqueduct winners pay upfront to state

Aqueduct winners pay upfront to state
State Lottery Division Director Gordon Medenica (l.) and Genting New York President Mike Speller pose with the $380 million check Genting is giving the state to complete the Aqueduct video lottery terminal deal. Photo courtesy Gov. David Paterson’s office
By Howard Koplowitz

The winning bidder of the Aqueduct video lottery terminal contract delivered a $380 million check to the state Monday — the upfront payment attached to the deal awarding the company the project.

The $380 million upfront payment by Genting New York, a subsidiary of the Malaysia-based Genting Malaysia Berhad, came five days early and is revenue the state has been banking on for years.

“All along, I’ve said that securing this deal and moving ahead with the project at Aqueduct is critical for the future of New York,” Gov. David Paterson said in a statement. “The state, in partnership with Genting, has the opportunity to create jobs for the community and to revitalize this area. After almost a decade of delay, this project is finally becoming a reality and all New Yorkers will benefit.”

Genting’s plans for Aqueduct include a grand entrance, a three-story atrium, a 75-foot-tall indoor water show, buffet and a signature restaurant.

The gaming area of the Aqueduct property will be known as Resorts World New York.

About 800 permanent jobs and 1,300 construction jobs are expected to be created by the project, according to Genting.

The company received final approval for the Aqueduct contract earlier this month and was recommended for the project in August by state Lottery Division Director Gordon Medenica, who called Genting’s plans “impressive on many levels.”

Medenica said since the state received the $380 million five days early, it showed that he made the right recommendation.

“By providing the upfront payment five days before the due date, Genting continues to demonstrate why they are the best company to bring a premier gaming experience to New York,” he said. “And, of course, this project will primarily benefit the schoolchildren of New York since all of the Lottery’s profits go to education funding.”

Elected officials have said $100 million a day for education was lost for every day the state neglected to make a decision on a contract winner.

Genting NY President Mike Speller said the company is ready to start construction on the Aqueduct project.

“Genting is excited to have crossed the finish line and will now quickly get to work building a first-class casino that will not only showcase the best in gaming and entertainment, but will result in more than 2,000 jobs and significant recurring revenue for New York state,” he said. “We will continue to work closely with state Lottery officials and the south Queens community to ensure that we can quickly open the first phase of Resorts World New York.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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