Resorts World NYC Builds Case for Casino License with $5B Expansion Plan

Land Based Casinos Business
Edward Scimia

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Edward Scimia


Last Updated on 14th March 2024, 07:22 AM

Resorts World NYC Builds Case for Casino License with $5B Expansion Plan

Resorts World New York City may already have been the favorite to pick up a downstate casino gaming license when applications open later this year. On Thursday, Resorts strengthened their bid by announcing a $5 billion expansion proposal that would transform the Southeast Queens venue.

A bevy of local politicians, joined by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson and rapper Nas – also a Queens native – were on hand Thursday for the announcement of the expansion plan that would change the face of New York casinos.

Expanded Facility Would Include Arena, Employee Housing

Under the proposal, Resorts World NYC would expand its casino floor to 350,000 square feet, which would be part of making the integrated resort one of the largest gambling facilities in the world. The expanded venue would include a 7,000-seat arena, 30 new food and beverage vendors, retail space, and 1,600 additional hotel rooms.

In addition, the expansion would include some benefits for the surrounding neighborhood to sweeten the offer. Genting – which owns Resorts World – would create 3,000 new units of employee housing. The company would also improve options for travel to and from John F. Kennedy Airport, and would secure 10 acres of park space on the premises. The company says the expansion would also create 10,000 new jobs.

“When we stood here more than a dozen years ago to break ground on Resorts World New York City, our vision extended well beyond that already-ambitious original plan,” Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting America East, said in a statement. “Today, that vision can soon become a reality.” 

Right now, Resorts World NYC operates as a casino, but only in a limited capacity. The racino facility, which is attached to Aqueduct Race Track, currently offers video lottery terminals (VLTs) – which play similarly to slot machines – and electronic versions of table games. Winning one of the three available downstate casino licenses would allow the facility to offer a full range of casino options.

plan for Resorts World New York City

Resorts World is calling their expansion plans in Queens their “next chapter,” and will add more than just casino floor space. Click to enlarge. (Image: courtesy of Resorts World)

New York Casino Market Attracts Intense Competition

New York voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2013 that allowed for up to seven full-service casinos to operate in the state. That started with four upstate commercial casino venues in various locations throughout the northern and western parts of New York.

However, the real prize for developers and casino owners was always going to be the remaining three downstate licenses. New York City and its surrounding metro area is the largest untapped casino market in the United States, and that has made the battle for these licenses among the fiercest contests in the history of the gaming industry.

While Resorts World NYC may have the best odds of securing one of these licenses, there’s plenty of competition for the other two – if not to challenge Genting’s proposal. 

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has pushed for a casino to be installed next door to Citi Field in Queens, where his baseball team plays. Wynn Resorts is looking to build in Hudson Yards, while SL Green Realty has partnered with Caesars Entertainment on a bid for a casino in Times Square. Mohegan is looking to build near the United Nations, while others are targeting Coney Island.

Other operators are hoping at least one of these licenses will go to a location on Long Island. Las Vegas Sands is has shown an interest in building at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, though a judge ruled last week that the lease the company acquired from the county is not yet valid. 

The downstate region also includes Westchester County, home to cities such as Yonkers and White Plains. The leading bid in this area comes from Empire City Casino in Yonkers, with MGM promising a major overhaul to its current racino if it earns a full casino license.

(Top image: Associated Press / Alamy)

Meet The Author

16 Years
Edward Scimia
Edward Scimia
Journalist Journalist

Ed Scimia is a freelance writer who has been covering the gaming industry since 2008. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2003 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Political Science. In his time as a freelancer, Ed has worked for,, and, among other sites. He has also authored multiple books and enjoys curling competitively, which has led to him creating curling-related content for his YouTube channel "Chess on Ice."

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