Resorts World NYC celebrates 11th anniversary as NYC’s only casino

Resorts world
Resorts World NYC celebrates its 11th anniversary with elected officials and community leaders. (Photo by Adrian Childress)

Resorts World New York City marked its 11th anniversary as the only casino in the city with a cocktail reception for elected officials and community leaders on Oct. 28.

“We couldn’t think of a better group than this to help us celebrate 11 years in Queens,” Genting Americas East President Robert DeSalvio said. “Without these partners, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver on the many promises we made to New York over a decade ago when we first broke ground on the casino. Our accomplishments are their accomplishments, and we look forward to having them by our side as we continue to look for ways to improve the lives of residents in Queens and throughout New York City for decades to come.”

During the celebration, Resorts World announced it has now generated more than $3.6 billion in support of New York’s public schools since it opened its doors to the public at the Aqueduct Raceway in South Ozone Park.

“I’m told that the $3.6 billion would cover about 10 million laptops for students and would pay a year’s salary for 12,000 public school teachers,” RWNYC Strategy Chief & Legal Officer Kevin Jones said before turning the spotlight to Michele Stoddard, the vice president of community development.

“Looking around the room tonight I feel a good sense of community, a community that always comes together through triumph and tragedy,” Stoddard said. “Over the last 11 years, I am amazed at all we have accomplished together working hand in hand.”

(Photo by Adrian Childress)

RWNYC launched the “Good Neighbor Network,” an initiative to inspire, empower and advocate for social and economic good across the borough and the state.

“When they opened 11 years ago, I never could have imagined what a great neighbor they would be,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “Remember they just got on the scene when Superstorm Sandy hit us 10 years ago and they turned over space to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross to run their operations.”

Resorts World has become an economic engine by creating a strong and diverse union workforce of hundreds of New Yorkers, a majority of which are people of color and nearly half are women. In the summer of 2021, they opened the $400 million Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World, a 400-room four-star hotel that added even more jobs.

“And they provide millions in funding to nonprofits,” Addabbo said. They launched “Resorts World Gives,” a philanthropic program that allows RWNYC to invest in the economic and social progress of communities surrounding the property. It’s notated more than $3 million to more than 200 local organizations including the Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, Jamaica YMCA and many more.

“We worked with them on blood drives, job fairs, and during the COVID-19 pandemic they hosted safe drive-in movies for our residents,” Addabbo said. “I’ll tell you what a good neighbor they are. There was this ‘Welcome to Ozone Park’ sign that got stolen and Resorts World replaced it without looking for any attention. They represent so much more than the economic benefits they bring to the region and that’s why I’m advocating for them to get a full casino license next year.”

Addabbo serves as the chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, which will have a say in the awarding of three full casino licenses in the downstate region. 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.

“It’s going to create good union jobs and increase funding for education and programs for gambling addiction,” Addabbo said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues, the Gaming Commission and the Hochul administration on the downstate license issue when the next session gets underway in Albany.”