The support for Genting New York to operate a gaming and entertainment facility at Aqueduct Race Track is gaining momentum.
First, the New York State Division of the Lottery on Aug. 3 recommended that Gov. David Paterson formally approve the bid.
And now, at a public hearing convened by the state Senate in lower Manhattan Monday, lawmakers by and large spoke approvingly of the project, and Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson (D-Brooklyn), officially endorsed the Genting bid the next day.
Genting New York, a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia Berhad, presented its plans for reforming dilapidated Aqueduct into a premier destination before the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. The group has made similar public presentations already outlining the plans.
Chairman Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) urged the state to move quickly on the project, envisioned for a decade.
“People of the state have waited too long. The racing industry has waited too long,” he said.
Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), whose district includes Aqueduct, has supported the bid, and continued to do so at the hearing.
“This is an important project,” he said.
Genting’s proposal has now been approved by the necessary members of the state government, including Sampson, Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who endorsed the project late afternoon Wednesday.
The company’s plans for Aqueduct call for 4,500 video slot machines, and dining and entertainment options. But a Genting spokesman said at the hearing that the group would provide table games, such as poker, blackjack and roulette, at the casino if the state were ever to authorize casinos.
Genting’s proposal calls for a 93,000-square-foot gaming area on the first floor and a 42,500-square-foot gaming area on the second floor, an entrance with a three-story atrium and water feature, and a 2,200-car-parking facility, with valet service also available.
Plans for dining at the facility include a 200-seat high-end restaurant, 200-seat Chinese restaurant, a sports bar and grill with a 280-person capacity and a two-story casual dining promenade with 450 seats.
Genting said it can have 1,600 of the video slots operating within six months, and have the remaining 2,900 ready to go by next summer.