Resorts World New York City Evacuated Due to an Electrical Fire

Aquaduct Racetrack and Resorts World New York City Casino

Resorts World New York City is a casino attached to the Aquaduct Racetrack in Queens.

Resorts World New York city is open for business again after an electrical fire forced an evacuation on Saturday. A spokesman for the New York Fire Department said officials responded to a fire call in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, which turned out to be the Resorts World Casino. They answered the call at about 11 pm on Saturday night.

The official said firefighters were able to bring the fire under control about 30 minutes after arrival. Investigators were able to determine that the fire started due to electrical wiring. Despite having the fire under control, guests were not allowed back into the casino until early Sunday morning.

Resorts World New York City

Resorts World New York City was opened in 2011 in the Ozone Park, Queens, as part of the Aquaduct Racetrack complex. When it opened, Resorts World NYC was the first legal casino in New York City. It remains the only operating casino in the firve boroughs. Empire City Casino in Yonkers is the only other casino in the New York City greater metropolitan area.

Resorts World New York City features thousands of video slot machines, along with four types of automated table games: blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and craps. The baccarat is played with real cards, but a machine deals the cards to players.

Long Development Process

The casino had a long journey towards development and opening. The New York State Legislature approved video gambling devices (“video lottery terminals” or VLTs) for New York racetracks in 2001. It was a full ten years before the Aquaduct Racetrack received video slots, because of a variety of issues. The original plan called for VLTs at 5 locations — Queens, Finger Lakes Race Track, Yonkers Raceway, Vernon Downs, and Monticello Raceway. Revenue sharing would spread the profits equally to all 5 locations.

It would be 6 years before bidding began on the Aquaduct Racetrack’s slots palace. The Shinnecock Indian Nation and Detroit Red Wings’ co-owner Marian Illitch submitted a joint bid for $2 billion. Delaware North had the winning bid when a license was announced in 2008, but the Buffalo-based company was unable to come up with a qualifying payment of $370 million in 2009, so the license process was reopened.

This time, 7 different applicants submitted plans. These were heavy-hitters in the national and international gaming scene, including Delaware North, Wynn Resorts, MGM Mirage, Mohegan Sun, SL Green Realty, and Penn National Gaming. In 2010, then-Gov. David Paterson announced the winner would be Aqueduct Entertainment Group.

Aquaduct Entertainment Group

Aquaduct Entertainment Group included a number of major contributors, including Siemens AG, GreenStar Services Corporation, The Darman Group, S&S Design, Levine Builders, Clairvest Group, Empowerment Development Corporation, Navegante Group, and Turner Construction Company. Aquaduct’s win still generated controversy, because it was learned their bid was worst of the seven, though they were given a chance to refit their plan to make it the best.

Changes to the plan included a more diverse ownership base, including Jay-Z and Floyd Flake, a New York City preacher. This did not help, and eventually multiple parties (including Jay-Z and Flake) left the bid process. Several months later, an expedited bid process occurred. This time, it was won by Genting Group.

About Genting Group

Genting Group is a Malaysian multinational conglomerate which has placed numerous times in “Best of Asia” corporate listings. Genting owns not only is a gaming, leisure, and hotel chain, but it also owns a string of rubber plantations and oil platforms in Southeast Asia. In subsequent US casino licensing processes in New York, Genting put in bids. Genting also sought a casino in Miami, though the Florida State Legislature squelched the idea of placing two casinos in South Florida.

Meanwhile, Genting Group procedes with Resorts World Las Vegas, a $4 billion development expected to be the most expensive casino even built in Las Vegas. Overseas, Genting owns Resorts World Sentosa, one of two integrated casino-resorts in Singapore.

Resorts World New York City

Though the casino in Queens is small in comparison to many of Genting’s developments, it has had more than its share of headaches. In 2014, the casino was the site of a massive brawl which included as many as 400 people. Video of the brawl went viral on the Internet. Witnesses said the brawl began in the line outside a new nightclub, which was having its grand opening.