Racino officials gave members of the media a glimpse into the casino at Aqueduct in South Ozone Park this week, with the Resorts World New York City President Michael Speller leading a tour of a place where a psychedelic swirl of colors bounces off the walls, the rows of neon-lit slot machines illuminating a room that, come the end of October, is expected to be filled with gamblers hoping to win big.
“This will be a world-class facility,” said Speller, whose organization will run the first casino to open its doors in the city.
The first phase of the two-part $830 million project is expected to be finished by the end of October, which includes the Times Square Casino.
“It is modeled and built after the Times Square experience,” Speller said. “It will be a very vibrant space with lots of energy.”
The unveiling of the Times Square Casino was pushed back from around the end of the summer to October because “remediation took us many more months than we expected,” Speller said.
Resorts World had to clean up an unanticipated large amount of pigeon droppings, as well as asbestos and lead in the facility.
The Times Square facility will include 2,280 Video Lottery Terminals, 205 electronic table games — including craps and roulette, a food court with seven venues that will seat about 330 people, including Wolfgang Puck Express, Popeye’s, Queens Burger and Good Friends Noodle House.
There will also be an Aqueduct Buffet, a 340-seat restaurant that will offer a variety of food, including seafood, steak, pasta and vegetarian options.
“We will serve from all over the world,” said Speller, who noted that families can directly access the buffet without having to go through the casino.
Bar 360 will be located in the center of the casino and will feature a 28-foot-wide-by-18-foot-high television screen that Speller said may just be the “largest high-definition television in all of Queens.”
The Central Park and Fifth Avenue casinos are expected to open by mid-December, Speller said. The Fifth Avenue Casino will include a Crockfords Club, an invitation-only casino for customers who will be given a card to access the exclusive space.
In total, the casino will feature 4,525 VLTs, 475 electronic table games, 18 food and beverage outlets, four VIP lounges, a 200,000 square-foot space for community events and 6,400 parking spots.
About 1,400 construction jobs were created, and there will be 1,300 employees at the casino — about 70 percent of which Speller said will be from Queens.
He also said they would relatively easily be able to convert the space to include table games should the state legalize them, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has encouraged.