With the agreements already approved by state legislative officials and Governor David Paterson, it looks like casino gambling will be happening in New York City. About 4,000 video slot machines are expected to be set up at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens by Genting New York, one the largest gambling companies in Southeast Asia and England. Just waiting for the approval of both the state attorney general and the state comptroller, the video slots are scheduled to be installed in the Big Apple next month.
Looming for years
The plan to start casinos in New York has been in discussion for a decade, with bids going on in between the Big Apple and casino companies. Over the years, the plan has been stalled due to problems between the two concerned parties, disputes and investigations, funding difficulties, and even bankruptcy of a casino company. What clinched the deal was Genting’s $380 million cash infusion, especially with the state needing funding immediately. A total of $300 million was asked to be given in advance by the State lottery officials from the casino company, and with this comes the approval for putting in their video slots. Add to that a staggering $1.5 million of daily state tax revenue as projected by Genting.
This is not the first attempt of the state to introduce gambling slots to the Big Apple. New York already introduced casino gambling before, in an effort to infuse revenue after the September 11 World Trade Center terrorist attack. Unfortunately, the introduction of video slots machines at the Aqueduct, along with eight other racetracks, wasn’t a hit and ultimately failed. The sponsor of this video slots attempt, the New York Racing Association, declared bankruptcy in the year 2006.
Plans for the site
Jay Walker, the senior consultant to the Genting Berhad, which is Genting New York’s Malaysian parent company, stated that they are aiming to develop a premier casino destination with the New York gaming scene. Walker was quoted saying, “We’re trying to create a first class, day trip destination casino, not slots in a box.”
The targeted area of the old Queens racetrack will be made up into a showcase, featuring a three-story atrium and a two-story gambling hall. An enclosed sky bridge leading to the subway station and the shuttle toward the John F. Kennedy airport will also be included in the plans. Restaurants are expected to be set up to draw in crowds as well as provide excellent convenience for residents and gamers in the area.
As opposed to the 2001 attempts, these new set-ups would hopefully click with Big Apple residents, tourists, and local gamers. With the plans already on paper, New York citizens should expect video game slots in their city next month.
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