Re­sorts World Casino Scores $290M Refi for Aqueduct Race­track

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Gene Wilken­son

Ac­cord­ing to The Real Deal, Re­sorts World Casino at Aqueduct Race­track pulled in $290 mil­lion in or­der to re­fi­nance the prop­erty last Thurs­day.

The fund­ing, pro­vided by Wells Fargo, is $82 mil­lion in new fi­nanc­ing, which re­places the prin­ci­pal on a $225 mil­lion loan the bank is­sued last year, re­ports The Real Deal.

Re­sorts World Casino op­er­ates its com­plex at 110-00 Rock­away Boule­vard in Queens and had an­nounced last year that it was plan­ning a $400 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of the prop­erty, says The Real Deal.

The ex­pan­sion would add 750,000 square feet to the com­plex in­clud­ing a 400-key ho­tel, a 20,000-square-foot spa, 140,000 square feet of con­ven­tion space and also add 1,000 new video-lot­tery ter­mi­nals to be added to the al­ready ex­ist­ing 5,500 gam­bling ma­chines, re­ports The Real Deal.

The plan was to start con­struc­tion on the park­ing lot west of the ex­ist­ing casino and if ap­proved prop­erly by two agen­cies, the New York State Gam­ing Com­mis­sion and the Fran­chise Over­sight Board, the ad­di­tion could be com­pleted by April 2019, re­ports The Real Deal.

"This new ex­pan­sion, and its cor­re­spond­ing in­crease in visi­ta­tion to our fa­cil­ity, will re­sult in a boost in rev­enue for both New York's ed­u­ca­tion fund and the state's horse-rac­ing in­dus­try," said Michael Levoff, Gent­ing Group’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of pub­lic af­fairs.

A deal with law­mak­ers was made so that Re­sorts World Casino could in­clude the ad­di­tional gam­ing ma­chines at a gam­bling par­lor in Nas­sau County, where Malaysia-based Gent­ing Group who op­er­ates the casino, will avoid gam­bling com­pe­ti­tion in a nearby county and Nas­sau Re­gional Off-Track Bet­ting Corp. will avoid hav­ing to op­er­ate an ad­di­tional gam­bling fa­cil­ity, re­ports The Wall Street Jour­nal.

Some of the rev­enue from the new video-lot­tery games will go to Nas­sau County, while other por­tions of the rev­enue would go to the state ed­u­ca­tion fund and sup­port horse rac­ing and breed­ing, says The Jour­nal.

Spokesman for Norma Gon­salves, pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer of the Nas­sau County Leg­is­la­ture said that the Long Is­land County ex­pects to re­cieve at least $9 mil­lion in re­turns from the new ma­chines in just the first year of op­er­a­tion and in each of the fol­low­ing years Nas­sau County could get up to $25 mil­lion, re­ports The Jour­nal.

How­ever there are con­cerns about how much of a cut Nas­sau will get from the video-lot­tery ma­chine’s rev­enue.

"You're tak­ing some rev­enue away from what might oth­er­wise go to the rac­ing in­dus­try and also you're tak­ing, to a cer­tain ex­tent, some of that money that might have gone to ed­u­ca­tion,” said Ben­nett Lieb­man, in­terim di­rec­tor for Al­bany Law School’s Gov­ern­ment Law Cen­ter.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Wells Fargo and Re­sorts World Casino could not be im­me­di­ately reached for com­ment.

Re­sorts World Casino at Aqueduct Race­track pulled in $290 mil­lion in or­der to re­fi­nance the prop­erty

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