A full casino license for Resorts World New York City would be ‘a boon’ for the local community, Queens leaders say

State Senator Joseph Addabbo would like to see Resorts World NYC to land one of the full casino licenses Governor Kathy Hochul has earmarked for the downstate area. (QNS file photo)

After advocating for mobile sports betting for the past three years, state Senator Joseph Addabbo marveled at the record-shattering debut that saw New Yorkers wager $1.6 billion in the first three weeks, according to the state’s gaming commission — smashing the previous U.S. record of $1.3 billion held by New Jersey.

Now, Addabbo would like to see Resorts World New York City, in his district, get one of the full casino licenses Governor Kathy Hochul announced she would issue in New York City.

“I think Resorts World deserves it,” Addabbo told QNS. “They’ve proven to be a great neighbor and a true economic engine in our district.”

He said since opening in 2011, Resorts World New York City (RWNYC) — located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. — has generated more than $3 billion for New York’s education fund. RWNYC has also created hundreds of good-paying union jobs and a full casino license would add hundreds more to its workforce.

When Hochul announced the inclusion of downstate casino licenses in her executive budget last month, Addabbo said it presented a fiscal path forward during difficult economic times.

“I believe the inclusion of expediting the three full casino licenses for our downstate region has the potential to bring in $1.5 billion in revenue for the state, additional educational funding and improvements to problem gambling programs,” Addabbo said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Hochul administration and the Gaming Commission to ensure that gaming in the state expands and advances in a credible, meaningful manner.”

Addabbo is not alone in his beliefs.

In an op-ed written for QNS, Councilwoman Nantasha Williams offered her support in Resorts World’s bid for a full casino license, saying they have proven their commitment through their relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy and again recently with the flooding that followed Hurricane Ida.

“Southeast Queens was disproportionately harmed by the pandemic. With Resorts World, we can build a better future with an intentional recovery that puts community first,” Williams wrote. “If Resorts World’s location in Queens was granted an expanded license, it would directly create hundreds of good-paying union jobs in an area that needs it most.”

A full casino license means that in addition to its 6,500 slots and electronic table games, Resorts World would be able to introduce live dealers at table games such as poker, blackjack and roulette on two levels of gaming space.

RWNYC also features food and drink options to serve guests including Sugar Factory, Bar360, RW Prime Steakhouse, Queens Burger and Good Friends Noodle House.

The Sugar Factory is one of many dining options at the complex. (Photo by Gabrielle Holtermann)

Last summer The Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York opened to the public featuring 400 guest rooms, a fitness center, state-of-the-art conference and meeting spaces.

The 400-room Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York opened last summer. (Photo by Gabrielle Holtermann)

“Resorts World’s presence in southeast Queens has been a boon for the local community,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech said. “Since opening in 2011, they have brought economic activity to the area that supports local small businesses, created good-paying jobs for residents, generated billions in tax revenue and provided resources for vital community-based organizations. Allowing them to expand their operations will allow them to support even more families, businesses and community-based organizations.”

Resorts World New York City is already the state’s largest taxpayer and the infrastructure is already in place to expand with a full casino license.

“Gaming in downstate New York is full of untapped potential and Governor Hochul’s initiative to award additional casino licenses is a big step toward showcasing the state’s enormous promise,” an RWNYC spokesperson told QNS. “If granted a full casino license, we are uniquely positioned to immediately elevate our support for the state in a number of significant ways. On day one, we’ll be able to hire and train hundreds of new union members, generate additional revenue for public schools, and drive economic activity for local small businesses and the Queens community. This is an exciting time for New Yorkers and we are proud to be on the frontlines of the action.”