Genting Group Eyes Victory in New York Casino License Race


At its yearly gathering, Genting Malaysia Bhd, a global leisure and hospitality powerhouse, exuded confidence and anticipated success in regards to its ventures nestled within the heart of the American metropolis – New York City. Among rhetorical whispers and insinuations, the expectation of Resorts World New York securing one of the three casino licenses yet to be sanctioned by the state was a resounding theme.

While the Queens property remains outside the company’s control, Genting holds sway over the slots-only Resorts World New York alongside a diverse portfolio, all concentrated in the Empire State. Also included in the Malaysian powerhouse’s command are Empire Resorts, Resorts World Catskills, Monticello Raceway, sports betting proceedings within the state, and Resorts World Hudson Valley. Empire Resorts has seen rough financial seas in the past, even flirting with bankruptcy protection in 2019. Yet, Genting remains bullish, convinced that its firm imprint on New York soil would tip the odds in Resorts World New York’s favor for a downstate casino license. Their convictions rang clear, echoed to their investors during the annual meeting.

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The big question, however, is whether the state regulators will see eye to eye with Genting’s aspirations. Even though the future remains murky, Genting has been proactive, taking strides to financially shore up its venues oppressed by financial instability in Northern New York. The long-term investments could speak volumes and swing the pendulum in Genting’s favour when regulators assess the candidates vying for downstate permits.

The battle for the New York casino license opens up a thrilling new chapter. It’s an open secret that Resort World New York and MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers—another slots-only venue—are the front-runners for two of the three treasures. Resorts World New York stands with a slight edge, courtesy of the huge tax revenue it generated since its inception. It has contributed billion-dollar windfalls to Albany, including $600 million just last year.

Genting has hinted even more abundant opportunity, prophesying an annual $1 billion inflow to Albany if it can metamorphose the venue into an extravagant Las Vegas-styled casino. The operator has also pledged a staggering $5 billion heart and soul investment into Resorts World New York to morph it into a full-fledged, traditional casino, conditional that it secures the coveted permit.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens), a pivotal influencer, and driver of gaming-related legislation in the state, has a congenial, well-oiled business relationship with Genting, further strengthening its chances. Genting remains open-minded and opportunistic, hinting potential interests in iGaming and other New York-related ventures.

Despite the hopeful forecast, a potential stumbling block threatens to complicate the proceedings. New York regulators might be disinclined towards Scott Sibella, the former president of the scandal-ridden MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. Following his departure from the MGM, Sibella had joined Genting’s Resorts World Las Vegas, from where he was fired in September 2023 for alleged company policy violations. Whether this controversy will impact Genting’s chances remains to be seen.