Resorts World opens as Governor Cuomo pursues full scale gaming


| smosco@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/PHOTO BY STEVE MOSCO
THE COURIER/PHOTO BY STEVE MOSCO

Queens gamers will soon have more room to play at Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park.

The former site of Aqueduct Racino, which received a much-needed facelift this year, will open its final phase on December 16 — four months ahead of schedule.

Resorts World’s full scale opening couldn’t be timelier, as Governor Andrew Cuomo said on December 4 that he plans to pursue gambling legalization in the state as a way to spur economic and job growth.

Laying out what he called a jobs-creation agenda for his second year, Cuomo said, “We should pursue a comprehensive gaming plan — recognizing the reality that New York is already in the gaming business. Through this plan we can promote job creation and recapture revenue that is currently being lost to other states.”

New York Gaming Association President James Featherstonhaugh said that the governor’s proposal could very well help to reverse the state’s economic fortunes.

“We are pleased to hear of [the governor’s] support for legalizing enhanced commercial gaming in New York State, which will create tens of thousands of much-needed jobs, generate hundreds of millions in additional state revenues and stimulate significant private sector investment,” he said.

Resorts World officials, eager to lure Atlantic City customers to their establishment, are offering guests who have loyalty cards from casinos outside of New York free gaming in exchange for a Resorts World loyalty card. Guests can take advantage of this from December 19 through January 31.

“We have been truly humbled by the response of New Yorkers and tourists alike and we thank them for their ongoing support and patronage,” said Michael Speller, president of Resorts World New York. “Due to the hard work of our 1,500-person staff, we’re confident that we will be able to continue providing the highest level of service to our customers as we unveil the second stage of our facility.”

Among the elements set to open this month include the remaining 2,514 Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) and Electronic Table Games (ETGs), bringing the grand total to 5,000 gaming stations. The facility will also open two new 250-seat fine dining restaurants, as well as the largest event space in Queens.

The new casino space, dubbed 5th Avenue Casino, will provide a more upscale space for gamers to try their luck, with rewards for Silver, Gold and Platinum club members. Genting Palace, one of the two new restaurants, will offer Chinese cuisine on a terrace overlooking the racetrack. The other new restaurant is RW Prime, a steakhouse.