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Artist impression of Genting Stirling Forest casino resort project in Tuxedo, New York. - FIlepic courtesy of Genting Group
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NEW YORK, Jan 13:
There is an outside chance that Genting Group may still get another shot for a casino licence in New York.
A special meeting is being held by the State Gaming Facility Location Board later today after New York governor Andrew Cuomo called for a review of the board’s decision last month to only award three of the four casino licences originally envisioned.
The board’s chairman Kevin Law had said in a statement that the previous decision “was appropriate”, adding: “Nevertheless, we are willing to entertain the governor’s request to issue a new request for application for this region.”
The gaming board had announced on Dec 17 last year that it had opted to give the three casino licences – in Finger Lakes, Schenectady and Thompson, Sullivan County – but none for Orange County, which is located closest to New York City.
Of the three, Genting Group’s parent trust already has a 50% stake in Empire Resorts Inc – undertaking a US$630 million (RM2.25 billion) casino project that will include a 391-room hotel, a golf course, restaurants and entertainment rooms.
The other two winners are the US$300 million plan by the Rivers Casino and a US$425 million project by Lago Resort & Casino.
While these three winners have until the middle of next year to complete the initial phases of their projects, the state board still has the right to derail plans as the gaming licences will only be issued then – a process that is still fraught with potential hurdles.
Should the fourth casino licence be approved later tonight, Genting Group is seen to have the edge as its two proposals are among the most lavish of the 16 reviewed ahead of last month’s announcement.
It had submitted two – in Tuxedo and Montgomery – of the six proposals shortlisted for casino resorts in Orange County.
On the converse side, the Genting link to Empire Resorts and the fact that the Malaysian group already has a substantial gaming interest already in New York could favour the other bidders.
Genting now runs the sole gambling hall in New York City – the Resorts World slot parlour at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens – which is the highest grossing gambling operation in the US.
Further, Genting has already obtained another casino resort licence in US at Las Vegas and is holding on for possibly one more in Miami.
Also read: New York calls for 2nd casino bid