By Steve Mosco
A brazen daytime heist at Resorts World Casino netted a thief more than $60,000 and now a Queens lawmaker is pushing the casino to roll the dice on better security.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) spoke out about the June 29 theft at the South Ozone Park casino, saying though it is a rare occurrence and the first robbery at the casino, he would like to see officials up the ante in policing the facility.
“While I am thankful that nobody was injured during last week’s robbery and that such incidents normally don’t occur at Resorts World, I do have serious concerns regarding the procedures that are in place which would allow an individual to take a bag of money from the cashier window, down to street level, out of the casino, across the parking lot and escape to the street,” said Addabbo.
According to police, the still unidentified bandit walked into the casino around 4:30 p.m. and approached a cashier on the second floor. He passed a note demanding money, simulated a handgun in his waistband and then fled the scene with the loot.
Addabbo said hiring additional security detail would ensure the safety of patrons and provide jobs for the community.
“I am interested in the possible changes in the method of notifying the police in a timely manner and the practice of monitoring a situation in progress,” he said. “I will continue to advocate for the hiring of additional security personnel on the premises of the casino in an effort to create jobs and supplement the safety of the patrons there.”
A representative for Resorts World said officials are working closely with police to investigate the incident and they are currently reviewing security procedures.
“Our first priority is the safety of our guests and we are doing everything possible to ensure it — including conducting a full review of security procedures to improve the safety and integrity of our facility and apprehend the perpetrator,” said Stefan Friedman, spokesman for the casino.
The gaming giant generated gross gaming revenues of $57.5 million in May — outpacing second-place Mohegan Sun in Connecticut at $55.4 million and putting it in the lead among state gaming facilities.
According to Casino City Press, a publisher and distributor of gaming industry data, gambling interests generated $5.4 billion in New York in 2010. That moves the state into third place behind Nevada ($10.5 billion) and California ($9.7 billion), according to Casino City Press’ newly released North American Gaming Almanac.
And the 2010 numbers do not include the casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack, which should boost the numbers even higher in next year’s review, according to Casino City.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.