Resorts World Casino hit the jackpot in this year’s state budget.
The racino will receive an additional 1,000 video lottery terminals that were originally slated for placement in Nassau County. The Long Island county originally secured them as part of the 2012 budget negotiations.
The deal between Genting Group, which operates the casino, and Nassau OTB was struck as part of the state budget.
The extra 1,000 machines will be added to the existing 5,400 at the South Ozone Park racino. There is no set timeline for when they will be installed, but the state has given the venue a financial incentive to get it done sooner rather than later.
Resorts World is set to receive 1 percent of the payouts from the VLTs — after proceeds go to capital improvements at the facility — once 400 of the 1,000 machines have been installed, or after April 1, 2019, whichever comes first.
The percentage going to the casino will go up to 4 after all the machines are put in.
In exchange for the terminals, Genting will pay Nassau OTB about $43 million for the first three years — $9 million in years one and two and $25 million in year three.
The $25 million every year after will increase by the cost of inflation, according to lawmakers with knowledge of the deal.
Nassau OTB for years had been searching for places to put the terminals but faced community opposition at every turn — most recently from Queens and Nassau activists who did not want to see them at a proposed new casino at Belmont Park, located on the county border.
Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens), one of the opponents of that plan, said in a statement, “I was pleased to learn that plans to build a casino at the Belmont Park have been withdrawn.
“The proposal was ill conceived, and I am glad that the new casino will not see the light of day,” Grodenchik added.
State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Nassau), who is running to replace retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens), helped broker the deal. His district includes Belmont Park and Westbury, LI, another proposed location for the VLTs that was opposed by community leaders there.
“This agreement is the best case scenario for Nassau County and its residents; receiving substantial, recurring revenue while ensuring that a VLT facility will not be opened in Nassau County,” Martins said in a prepared statement.
South Queens leaders expressed their approval of the new machines, citing additional revenue for the casino and the State Education Fund, toward which a portion of the racino’s revenues go — it’s too early to tell how much more money the fund might get from the added VLTs.
“If we can get rid of the unwanted burden for Nassau County and help Resorts World grow, that’s a great deal,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) said. “Resorts World is the right partner and Aqueduct the perfect location for expansion and responsible development.”
State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) praised the deal that kept new competition away from Resorts World.
“If we had another casino on Long Island, that could’ve eaten at a little of Resorts’ customers,” Addabbo said. “Resorts has an ongoing, successful product here.”
In a statement issued by Goldfeder’s office, Resorts World touted its economic contributions to the area and promised to grow on its previous successes.
“Resorts World Casino New York City has created more than 1,000, good-paying jobs with over 80 percent of our employees coming from our local Queens community,” a spokesman said. “These are jobs we work hard to protect. Key provisions in this year’s State Budget will give our employees job security and place our business on a more competitive footing.”
Goldfeder and other community leaders did not think the additional machines would come with security concerns.
“It doesn’t worry me,” Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said. “I believe Resorts World has the ability to absorb that into their operations.”
Addabbo said South Queens leaders meet with casino leadership every month to go over a variety of issues, including crime and public safety.
“Thankfully so, they’re on top of that situation,” the senator said.