Genting Pledges $1B Annually in Tax Contributions for New York Casino License Bid

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Genting Malaysia Bhd, the operator of Resorts World New York, has claimed that it could contribute over $1 billion annually in taxes to the state coffers if granted a license to transform the property into a Las Vegas-style casino hotel. This comes as the race heats up amongst a multitude of gaming companies, all eager to secure one of three downstate casino licenses that New York regulators are likely to award by the end of next year.

Presently functioning as a slots-only venue in Queens, Resorts World New York amassed a whopping $600 million in taxes for the state last year, as reported by a company spokesperson.

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If fortunate enough to secure one of the fiercely sought-after downstate licenses, Genting has pledged to maintain its current 67% tax levy to New York on gaming device revenue. However, the operator would enjoy a reduced percentage on table games like blackjack and roulette, which are not currently permissible at Resorts World New York and Empire City Casino, MGM Resorts International’s venue in Yonkers.

Considering their strong presence in the New York metro area, Empire City and Resorts World New York are widely recognized as leading contenders for two of the three downstate licenses. That being said, no official confirmation from regulatory bodies has been issued to date.

As competition intensifies, Genting’s claim that its Queens establishment could contribute over $1 billion in receipts to the financially constrained city comes at a time when competitors are bolstering their efforts to secure gaming permits, including within the same borough.

In one notable example, Steve Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire and owner of the New York Mets, is collaborating with Hard Rock International, a gaming company owned by Florida’s Seminole Tribe. They plan to develop Metropolitan Park – an ambitious $8 billion proposal to revitalize the area near Citi Field, featuring plans for a casino hotel. However, their venture could hit a roadblock if State Sen. Jessica Ramos does not introduce legislation to remove the site’s current parkland designation.

Proactively responding to an increasingly competitive landscape, Genting has pledged $1 billion in taxes and announced plans in February to invest another $5 billion into Resorts World New York to upgrade the property and transition it into a conventional casino if it wins one of the licenses.

Regardless of being the only foreign entity vying for one of the three New York City casino licenses, Genting may hold an advantage over its domestic competitors. Besides its financial commitments, Resorts World New York has a 13-year operational history that has seen it become one of the country’s highest-revenue-generating slots venues. This track record and its contribution of over $4 billion in taxes since its opening, have placed it in good standing with New York regulators. Genting’s experience in operating two other casinos in upstate New York could further tilt the scales in its favor.