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Resorts World Casino in New York Announces $5B Upgrade

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The competition for the title of New York City's premier casino is heating up, with Resorts World New York City leading the charge. The casino-hotel, located at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, is undergoing a significant expansion as part of a $5-billion plan to secure one of New York's casino licenses.

Going All-in on The Big Apple

Resorts World, already boasting approximately 6,500 slot machines and electronic table games, announced in a Thursday press release its intention to transform the racetrack into a full-fledged Las Vegas-style gaming destination. The expansion will see the addition of two million square feet of new space. It already covers one million square feet.

Related: Resorts World Genting Announces Surprise Closure of Two Casinos

A 350,000-square-foot casino floor, touted as one of the world's largest, is also part of the ambitious project. Furthermore, 1,600 new hotel rooms are planned, supplementing the 400 already available at the Hyatt Regency JFK Airport.

Operated by Malaysia's Genting Group, Resorts World has proposed a 7,000-seat entertainment venue and 350,000 square feet of meeting, conference and entertainment space, which would be the second-largest of its kind in the city. To bolster its bid, the casino has enlisted the support of Queens native and hip-hop star Nas. In addition, Roc Nation, the entertainment company owned by billionaire rapper Jay-Z, has joined the Times Square casino bid from SL Green Realty and Caesars Entertainment.

Resorts World claims that it's already New York state's largest taxpayer, having generated over $4 billion in revenue for public education since its launch in 2011. If it secures a casino license, the casino expects to contribute hundreds of millions of additional dollars in additional annual revenue.

All Eyes on New York

The allure of a casino license in New York has attracted a slew of contenders vying for one of the three gaming licenses that could be issued for the New York area. Developer Thor Equities has presented a proposal for a $3-billion property for Coney Island, while Mets owner Steven Cohen is reportedly eyeing a casino license in Queens near Citi Field.

The Soloviev Group has teamed up with casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment to propose a casino resort. At the same time, Related Cos. has partnered with Wynn Resorts to vie for a license at Western Yards next to the Javits Center.

In addition, Silverstein Properties has announced plans for the Avenir, a multipurpose property, including a casino, spanning 1.8 million square feet on Manhattan's far west side. The company played a major role in rebuilding lower Manhattan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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