Tag Archives: slots

Resorts World celebrates first year


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

COURIER FILE PHOTO/Photo by Steve Mosco

A wager on a South Ozone Park casino a year ago turned out to be a good bet for jobs, and for all of Queens.

A year after Resorts World Casino New York City opened its doors, there has been a lot to talk about. In that time, the Racino has seen millions go in and out, several boxing matches and concerts, and even a robbery.

“Resorts World Casino has been an incredible success overall for Queens, for New York City and also the state as a whole,” said Resorts World president Michael Speller.

The Racino has sent more than $410 million in tax revenue back to the state toward education, the racing industry and other state-run programs. The casino, and parent company Genting, is committed to giving back to the community and the state where it’s found a home, Speller said.

“Clearly [it is] a great outcome for education; a great outcome to the state,” he said, adding that of the tax revenue sent back, roughly $263 million, was earmarked for education. “It’s been a great experience. We’ve been accepted by the community, we’ve worked hard with the community and it’s been a great experience over the last year.”

More than a million people walked through the Racino’s doors in July, two months after Genting announced Resorts World had beaten out Atlantic City and Las Vegas for slot machine revenue.

In June, however, a man later identified by the Queens District Attorney’s office as Kevin Lides, entered the second floor and handed a note to a teller. Lides was able to make off with about $63,000, but was caught just a month later in northwest Pennsylvania — in part from the surveillance system at Resorts World and collaboration with the 106th Precinct.

Speller said the casino’s security staff has worked closely with the 106th since inception and the working relationship continues daily.

The future of Resorts World has even crossed in to the hotly contested Senate District 15 election. Both incumbent Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilmember Eric Ulrich said at a recent debate they believe in full gaming at all of New York’s seven racetrack casinos. At the same time, Addabbo said he hoped as the number of jobs at the Racino increases, the number of Queens-based employees there should as well. Ulrich said if gaming laws in the state were to expand, Resorts World must continue to be a responsible neighbor.

Resorts World currently employs just over 1,750 people, Speller said, about 1,100 of whom live in Queens. Executives promised last year that 70 percent of its employees would be based in Queens, though that was based on a projected 850 employees.

“Creating jobs is a big focus for everybody,” Speller said. “Obviously we continue to work on that. It’s a commitment that is not a one-time commitment. We continue to do whatever we can to improve on that.”

Throughout the entire growth of Resorts World, the community has been involved.

Liaisons from Resorts World attend the monthly Community Board 10 meetings, and executives meet with the board once a month to hear community feedback, Speller said.

“So it’s been a very collaborative and successful relationship between us and CB 10,” he said. “They tell us what the things are we need to be looking at and we respond to that.”

Board chair Elizabeth Braton likewise said Resorts World has lived up to all of its commitments to the surrounding neighborhoods, and had been responsive with any issues or comments.

“Their community relations are excellent,” she said. “They have ensured they have had a person available to just about any organization in the area to attend their meetings, and listen to people’s concerns and answer questions.”

But aside from enhanced gaming, which Speller says could find a home on the Racino’s open third floor, there is still more development on the horizon. Talks between the state and Genting for what would have been the nation’s largest convention center broke down in June, leaving plans at a standstill and sending developers back to the drawing board. Talks for a convention center, or other development at Aqueduct, would be held off until 2013, when voters will decide on proposed gaming law changes.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, a proponent of Resorts World and more jobs and business in the region, said plans for Aqueduct were not done yet. In order to help south Queens continue to grow as a destination in the borough, Goldfeder said the state needed to give Resorts World and Genting the tools it needed to grow, particularly full gaming and better, faster transportation.

Resorts World breaks record for weekly revenue


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Resorts World Casino New York keeps hitting records.

The racino took in almost $15 million between July 1 and 7, officials announced, breaking a previously held state record for gross slot gaming revenue and tax-generation by a gaming property. From the intake, the casino sent $6.5 million back to the state toward education.

Michael Speller, president of the racino, heralded the landmark event as a success since Resorts World opened less than a year ago. He added that Resorts World would continue looking for more ways to create revenue and jobs for residents.

“The record-breaking revenue that Resorts World has generated to support the education of New York’s students, and the more than 3,000 jobs we have created for hard-working New Yorkers, is proof positive that our partnership with New York State is working,” Speller said. “However, we can still do more. We will look to pursue additional opportunities in the future to generate even more revenue for the state and create thousands of more jobs for New Yorkers.”

The record for highest revenue in a week had been set by the racino in February, when it brought in $14.4 million, according to Resorts World.

The weekly record comes after the casino — the only in the five boroughs — announced in June that it beat out Las Vegas, Foxwoods and others for the most slot machine revenue in May, when the venue took in $57.5 million. Resorts World also made headlines in late June, when the not even year-old casino was robbed for the first time.

Resorts World pays out most winnings in New York


| ASalazar@queenscourier.com

SONY DSC

Talk about a payday.

Resorts World Casino New York City, New York City’s first Racino, is not only paying 94 percent of its revenues back to its patrons, but also returning a good chunk of its profits back to the state to help support education.

The Racino took in $3.18 billion between April and mid-June from gamers, according to financial reports filed with the state Division of Lottery. About $3 billion of that was won back by patrons. Sixty percent of the money collected — $178 million – in the two-and-a-half month period was returned to the state for education and the racing industry.

In less than a year, the Racino has given back almost $200 million of its revenue to the state that was earmarked for education, a Resorts World spokesperson said.

“Through Resorts World’s partnership with the Division of Lottery and the State of New York, in just nine months we have been able to generate nearly $200 million in revenue for education – a primary goal from the very beginning of the video lottery program,” said spokesperson Stefan Friedman. “We have a significant and reliable source of funding, and we are proud that our partnership with the state has proven so successful.”

Made possible through its partnership with the Division of Lottery and the State of New York, the casino will continue to return a percentage of its earnings to aid education.

“[The] impressive April-June profits [$178 million] are a win-win for our community and we should all root for its continued success,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “Resorts World has committed to sharing a small percentage of its net profit with the community and [the] report shows that they are well on their way toward achieving that end.”

One patron said he thinks it is productive that the casino gives back to education, but doesn’t take it into consideration when he visits.

“It’s a good thing, but not the sole reason I keep coming back,” he said.

Resorts World ups the ante in revenue


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Resorts World

Talk about hitting it big.

The Resorts World Racino announced that the venue topped Las Vegas, Connecticut and Atlantic City, among others, for the most slot machine revenue in May.

The casino brought in $57.5 million last month. Mohegan Sun came in second in May with about $2 million less, according to Racino officials.

About $40 million from this revenue went back into the community, they said, including education and the racing industry. More than $252 million in taxes has been sent back to the state since Resorts World opened its doors eight months ago; $162 million of that amount has been allocated for education spending.

“Resorts World’s model has maximized gaming revenue for New York State in a manner that has not been replicated by any other facility in the nation,” said Michael Speller, president of Resorts World Casino New York City. “We are proud of the incredible revenue Resorts World has generated to support the education of New York’s students and the more than 3,000 jobs we have created for hard-working New Yorkers.”

State Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow, who is the chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, said the education system greatly benefited from this revenue, and any future gambling expansion must continue this, or strengthen, the system.

“As New York State proceeds down the path of full legalized gaming, it is crucial that taxpayers and students not get shortchanged in the process,” Pretlow said. “As evidenced by Resorts World’s May figures, the state’s education system greatly benefits from our current gaming structure. Any changes to that structure must ensure that students get more, not less, of the revenue that gaming brings to the state.”