Queens, NY (February 29, 2024) – Realizing a vision that was launched more than a dozen years ago, Resorts World New York City (RWNYC) today unveiled a once-in-a-generation project set to not only transform the entertainment landscape in New York City but benefit all Empire State residents through massive job creation, the development of a world-class entertainment resort and the delivery of billions in tax revenue.

Community stakeholders from across the borough, city and state joined the Resorts World team at its site in Southeast Queens – one of the most successful gaming establishments in the nation – to reveal the multibillion dollar plans for its next chapter of growth.

“We’re proud to have grown with the Queens community for over a decade.  When we stood here more than a dozen years ago to break ground on Resorts World New York City, our vision extended well beyond that already-ambitious original plan – today, that vision can soon become reality,” said Robert DeSalvio, President of Genting Americas East. “Since we opened in 2011, we have been proud to work with New York City and State and the local community to deliver thousands of good-paying union jobs; billions of dollars in tax revenue to New York’s schoolchildren; and true partnership to hundreds of local non-profits. With the advent of the newly imagined Resorts World New York City we can, and will, do far more.”

If awarded a license by the New York State Gaming Commission, RWNYC will be able to activate a $5 billion plan that includes full Las Vegas-style gaming and create jobs as soon as the end of this year. Doing so will enhance the community’s decades-long vision of New York State elected officials and policymakers to transform the longtime racetrack into a state-of-the-art entertainment and gaming destination in Southeast Queens.

Imminent Boost for New York’s Economy and Budget

RWNYC is New York State’s largest taxpayer and generated more than $4 billion in revenue supporting the state’s public education fund since the casino first opened its doors in 2011. Should a full casino license be awarded this year to RWNYC, New York State would see an immediate $500 million financial windfall from the initial casino license fee alone, and hundreds of millions of additional dollars in new, direct annual revenue.

Enhancing Workforce Development

RWNYC is the single largest employer of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, AFL-CIO. Since opening its doors in 2011, RWNYC has consistently tapped into the local labor market, providing New York families with comprehensive training programs and on-the-job opportunities. Today, jobs at RWNYC continue to feature full benefits and salaries averaging $80,000 for over 1,000 team members, over 80% of whom are people of color and nearly half women.

RWNYC’s next chapter plans would increase its workforce by four-fold to 5,000 permanent union jobs in the casino and hospitality industry, over half of which would start work within the first 100 days of full casino operations. To accelerate workforce enhancement, RWNYC will expand its Dealer School that has curriculum approved by the New York State Gaming Commission, as well as its slot technical training programs, culinary and vocational training, and apprenticeship and internships programs. Additionally, the project will create an estimated 5,000 union construction jobs, with many of those coming online as early as this year.

Answering Community Needs

Since RWNYC first opened its doors in Southeast Queens, community engagement has been an essential pillar to its operations. Our new destination resort is a direct answer to more than a decade of hearing, understanding, and responding to the needs of the surrounding community. To that end, the proposal will create over 10 acres of publicly accessible greenspace – including pocket parks, new trails, and bike and running paths.

These investments represent more than a decade of community impact that began when Resorts World began to develop the site in 2010. Since that time, RWNYC has served as a community pillar – especially in times of need. When Sandy devastated southern Queens – forcing many residents out of their homes without essential supplies – RWNYC served as a staging area for relief efforts. And when COVID-19 severely impacted the borough, RWNYC partnered with local, state and federal agencies to open the largest essential worker testing site in Queens, which eventually became one of the busiest centers for the entire city. RWNYC also provided meals and personal protective equipment to frontline workers during the pandemic.

“Resorts World New York City came into our community more than a dozen years ago, and every day since has been a dedicated neighbor who shows up, hears our feedback, and responds to our needs,” said Betty Braton, Chair of Queens Community Board 10. “They have been with us in good times and tough times ever since, giving both financial support and their time to this community. I know this partnership will only continue as Resorts World answers the immediate needs but also presents a vision for the future.”

The new RWNYC also reflects the community’s need for large scale meeting, ballroom, and conference space. Community leaders and elected officials have long fought for more space in the boroughs outside of Manhattan, especially near JFK International Airport. RWNYC has responded to that call with a proposal to create 350,000 square feet of meeting, conference, and entertainment space – the second largest of its size in New York City.

RWNYC has partnered with the Queens-based Crescent Consulting to support, expand, and exemplify its mission to bridge the diversity gap in the procurement process. RWNYC has and will continue its goal to exceed State and industry vendor and procurement standards for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs).

“MWBEs, SDVOBs, and other entrepreneurs have historically been left out of game-changing projects, but Resorts World has shown it wants to go above and beyond to open new opportunities,” said Rohan de Freitas, Partner, Crescent Consulting. “Crescent Consulting is excited to support their work to go above and beyond what’s expected. This will open the door for New York entrepreneurs to improve their business as well as their lives and those who work for them.”

Partnering with Queens Legends

Many of the nation’s most famous artists, entertainers, and athletes have called Queens home. RWNYC has recruited two of Queens’ biggest names to help guide various components of the project to ensure they are truly authentic to the borough.

Nas, an iconic son of Queens, has partnered with the casino to usher in the next chapter opportunity, excellence and community participation at RWNYC. The Grammy Award-Winning hip hop legend was on hand for Thursday’s festivities, bringing an even higher level of excitement to the project.

“This is an ambitious project that will give new opportunities to the hard-working families who call Queens home, attract top-tier talent, and build up the next generation of leaders. Clearly, with this project, the world is ours,” said Nas.

Recognizing a number of additional needs of the community, RWNYC today pledged $50 million in start-up funding for the new Genting Innovation Campus, which will include a state-of-the-art Kenny “The Jet” Smith Academy led by the two-time NBA Champion; a Community Health and Wellness Center; and a Queens STEAM Institute; as well as $20 million for related initiatives throughout New York.

“Resorts World came to me with a clear goal of fostering tomorrow’s athletes, student athletes and leaders both on and off the court,” said Kenny “The Jet” Smith. “Their investment in this Academy will help us teach the next generation the nuances of the game on and off the court, as well as the social, economic, and cultural impact of sports. I’m thrilled to partner with them to improve the borough that raised me and take it to the next level.”

Building a Global Destination for the World’s Borough

RWNYC has seen the value, impact, and vibrancy of Queens for more than a dozen years. The goal has always been to help the borough fulfill its place in New York City as an economic driver for the diverse communities that call it home. To that end, RWNYC will add some two million square feet of entertainment, gaming, retail, dining, and convention space – adding on top of the existing one million-square-foot facility.

The proposed 350,000-square-foot casino floor will be one of the largest in the world. It will be staffed by a diverse workforce filled by New York City residents who will go through rigorous training to deliver a best-in-class gaming experience.

The project will add 1,600 new hotel rooms on top of the 400 already online at the Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at RWNYC.

Guests from around the world and right here in Queens will experience the ultimate in amenities including a new, 7,000-seat entertainment venue; the Ayu DayClub, where customers can enjoy a custom curated beverage and the hottest DJs from around the globe; as well as the luxurious Awana Spa.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy new food and beverage options, which range from concepts by celebrity chefs Scott Conant and Marcus Samuelsson to local concepts highlighting the culinary breadth of Queens.  Chef Samuelsson, the Ethiopian-born, Swedish-American, James Beard Award-winning chef is an ideal culinary ambassador for RWNYC and Queens given his diverse background and commitment to community. Chef Samuelsson’s ability to mix flavors from his varied cultural influences, as seen in his restaurants like Red Rooster in Harlem, Hav & Mar in Chelsea and Streetbird at Resorts World Las Vegas, showcases his talent for creating unique and inclusive dining experiences. His involvement in various community initiatives, such as hosting events like Harlem EatUp!, demonstrates his dedication to fostering a sense of community through food. His instinct for blending cuisines, his cultural diversity and community engagement make him a fitting leader of RWNYC’s food and beverage ambitions for years to come.

“Together we hope to capture the beauty and diversity of food cultures that makes Queens one of the most exciting places in the world to eat.  We’re excited to share an authentic taste of this delicious mosaic,” said Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

The new lively and sunlit Parkside Conservatory will enhance the gaming experience while providing unfettered views to a new community park and vibrant landscaped promenade below. The new LEED Silver-certified RWNYC is eco-friendly, employing the latest practices that reduce the impact of the development and enhance the well-being of the community.

Aqueduct Park 

The future consolidation of horse racing at Belmont Park will allow the State to open a process to re-envision the remaining Aqueduct parcel. RWNYC welcomes that process and is making a multimillion-dollar commitment today to propose and engage the community in jointly creating a new Aqueduct Park to honor the legacy of the historic site while serving the needs of today. Aqueduct Park represents an additional $5 billion investment answering community demands for union-built and labor-financed housing, a massive amount of greenspace and mass-transit improvements. The creation of 3,000 homes will prioritize families in need of quality, workforce housing; and transportation improvements to JFK International Airport would enhance mass transit connectivity in Southeast Queens. As the catalyst for Aqueduct Park, RWNYC is committed to working with the top development professionals and a variety of world class funding partners to bring this vision to life.

About Resorts World New York City (RWNYC)

RWNYC is the Big Apple’s first and only casino-hotel and has generated more than $4 billion for the State’s public education system since opening 2011. RWNYC fulfills the decades-long mission to turn the historic Aqueduct Racetrack into a gaming destination with approximately 6,500 slot machines and electronic table gaming. More than five million guests pass through RWNYC’s doors annually, where they enjoy an extraordinary gaming, entertainment, and dining experience. In 2021, the 400-room Hyatt Regency JFK Airport hotel at RWNYC opened its doors — bringing the total investment at the site to $1.1 billion. Guests can choose from several dining options including the recently reopened RW Prime and Good Friends Noodle House. RWNYC is operated by the Genting Group, a global company founded in 1965, with destination resorts in the Catskills, Hudson Valley, Las Vegas, Bimini, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Genting has more than 50 years of experience in the travel and leisure industry and collectively employs approximately 47,000 people while offering an unparalleled resort experience to over 50 million visitors a year worldwide.

For more information, please contact Terence Cullen