Op-Ed | Resorts World can give Queens residents good-paying jobs as NYC recovers if granted full casino license

FILE PHOTO: Hundreds of people line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort
FILE PHOTO: Hundreds of people line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S. June 18, 2020. (REUTERS/Bryan Woolston/File Photo)

The resilience of the Queens community during the pandemic has been inspiring. As we always do in times of great need, we’ve come together — neighbors helping neighbors and strangers supporting strangers.

As we look to recover from the last 12 months, a process that will take years, it’s critical we look for bold ideas and solutions to get Queens residents back to work in good-paying jobs. That will spark an economic resurgence to support the business community, many of whom are MWBE small business owners who have just suffered a year of unprecedented challenges.

This is why New Yorkers for Responsible Gaming, an organization that I am proud to help lead, is advocating for Resorts World New York City to be granted a full-scale casino license. This would immediately create opportunities Queens and the city overall. 

If granted this license, Resorts World could quickly start creating new, good-paying union jobs for communities of color, the same communities who have been disproportionately affected by the economic challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.

Additionally, elevating Resorts World to a full-scale casino would have a positive direct and indirect economic impact on the southeast Queens business community. The numerous businesses, from ‘mom & pop’ to regional, would bolster the economy of the borough and the city.

This is a responsible development at a time when we need it the most. 

Since opening in 2011, Resorts World has gone above and beyond in fulfilling its commitment to being a good neighbor, a good community partner and a reliable and proven economic anchor. Resorts World has created thousands of direct and indirect jobs, generated more than $3 billion for New York’s public schools, and is always there to support the organizations that provide critical services to the Queens community.

What makes Resorts World even more special is the culture it has built. You see that on display when the Resorts World team comes out in full force for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, hosted at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. You see it when Resorts World opens its doors to host a blood drive in the middle of a pandemic to help address the blood shortage in our community. And that culture is on full display day in and day out in Queens when the neighbors who are helping other neighbors are Resorts World employees, and the strangers supporting other strangers are Resorts World employees. 

Let’s empower Resorts World to continue making a difference in Queens – to continue creating jobs and to continue being the economic engine that fuels small business growth. A full-scale casino would do just that. Right now. When Queens needs it the most. 

Hope Knight sits on the board of New Yorkers for Responsible Gaming, a coalition created to raise awareness of the critical role that Resorts World New York City plays in good paying union job creation, economic opportunity, and revenue generation for New York’s public schools. She’s also the President & CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.