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Queens Chronicle

Resorts World says it has hit $1 billion

Casino, open for 19 months, reports it has paid $447 million for schools

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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:41 am, Thu May 30, 2013.

Resorts World Casino New York City has hit another big milestone.

The casino, which opened in October, 2011, announced last week that it raked in $67 million in April, putting total revenue since opening at over $1 billion.

Almost half that amount has gone to state coffers, earmarked for education, the casino says.

“Resorts World Casino is not only recapturing New York’s gaming dollars, but also attracting out-of-state dollars due to continued heavy investment in its facilities and marketing programs,” casino president Michael Speller said. “The success has continued to be incredible, as we are now the single largest casino taxpayer in the country and if ranked as its own state, Resorts World Casino would be the fourth largest taxpayer out of 23 states with commercial casinos.”

The casino, which opened on Oct. 26, 2011 at Aqueduct Race track, says it has created more than 1,700 jobs so far, nearly double the initial estimate of 800 permanent jobs it promised when Genting, the parent company of Resorts World, was awarded the contract to build the casino in 2010.

“Because of Resorts World, we have 1,750 new jobs, $710 million in additional tax revenue and a great partner for local businesses right here in Queens,” said state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach). “The Queens community couldn’t have asked for a better neighbor and we’re looking forward to celebrating many more successful months.”

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Jamaica) made note of the casino’s donating some of its profits to community organizations and its hiring its staff mostly from Queens.

“Resorts World Casino has been nothing short of an absolute success for the Queens community,” Sanders said in a statement. “On a recent visit, I was pleased to hear about their continued commitment to the community through their hiring practices and philanthropy.”

Under the deal it signed with the state in 2010, Genting donates 1 percent of its annual earnings to the community. Last year during its first anniversary celebration — just days before Hurricane Sandy — the casino gave $500,000 to 37 local organizations in its first installment of that process.

“After years of empty promises and false hopes from other companies, Resorts World Casino has delivered for the Queens community — and then some,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) said.

Earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo announced that he would not allow table games in New York City for at least five years, assuming state voters approve full gambling in a referendum likely to be held this November, and allow six full casinos upstate. That ban would include Resorts World.

Goldfeder and Addabbo both said they would push for table games at Resorts World once the state legalizes, noting that the governor’s plan is just an idea and would not be set in stone upon passage of the referendum. Sanders agreed that the casino needed to be given the chance to improve on its earnings.

“This has been a winning partnership for Queens and all New Yorkers, and I am certain that if given the opportunity, the incredible impact Resorts World Casino is having on our local economy will only increase,” he said.

A spokesman for Resorts World said the company wants to see the governor's proposal before commenting on it.

CORRECTION

This article was changed to correct the following: A Resorts World spokesman said the company would not comment on the governor's referendum before seeing the legislation.

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