NY comptroller approves racino contract at Aqueduct
New York City is poised to get its first casino – and the gamble could turn the ailing horse track into a cash cow.
The state comptroller gave final approval Monday for video slots at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, with more than 1,000 machines potentially running as soon as next spring.
Within a year, Malaysian gaming operator Genting New York plans to have renovated Aqueduct into a racetrack with a plush gaming parlor filled with 4,500 slots. Also planned are a high-end Chinese restaurant, sports bar, buffet and an indoor digitized water show. No state gaming parlors have table games.
Aqueduct could become the top-generating casino of the eight now open in New York, topping Empire City’s $554 million haul last year in Yonkers, the state Lottery Division said.
“This is one of the most important vendor contracts New York has ever signed,” state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.
K.T. Lim, chairman of Genting Malaysia Berhad, said in a release that the project will deliver a “one-of-a-kind iconic, entertainment destination.” About 800 jobs are expected to be created, the company said.
Plans must be reviewed by the state in the coming month, but no glitches are foreseen.
The project has been plagued with years of delays, and a deal with another developer fell through in March.
“Aqueduct will do well because it has a huge population that’s conveniently located,” said Cory Morowitz, of Morowitz Gaming Advisors near Atlantic City.
New Yorkers who like to gamble or visit Atlantic City said Monday they’re looking forward to the Queens casino.
“I’ll go,” said James Munsen, 26, of Long Island City. “It’s convenient, even if it’s just video.”
(with Tim Herrera)
Does the state get a cut from the casino revenue?
Yes. About 44 percent of net winnings is given to the state and must be used to help education and schools.
How is the state paid?
Casino operator Genting New York must pay an upfront $380 million licensing fee. The state could get a $1.5 million daily cut in revenue.
Does this deal help the ailing horse-racing industry?
New York's casinos subsidize the state's racetracks and breeding operations. Aqueduct could give an estimated $30 million yearly boost to the industry.
What will be its operating hours?
Unclear, but it may be open up to 20 hours a day.
Why video instead of traditional slots?
New York’s slots are connected to a centralized computer that programs in advance how many payouts to give – a sort of computerized lottery. That differs from Atlantic City, where its slots are not hooked up to a central computer.Source: New York Lottery