Monday, June 4, 2012
Megacasino not happening right now
From the NY Times:
A $4 billion plan announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to create the country’s largest convention center and a casino in Queens has fallen apart, the governor acknowledged on Friday.
The project, which was to have been built by a Malaysian gambling company at the Aqueduct racetrack near Kennedy Airport, was a signature initiative of Mr. Cuomo’s and a central thrust of his State of the State address in January.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said during a radio interview that negotiations between the state and the Genting company, which was expected to pay the development costs, had broken down.
“The conversations haven’t really worked out,” he said.
The revelation left a fog of uncertainty over Mr. Cuomo’s drive to bring casino gambling to New York City, which his administration views as a key source of jobs and revenue. The Genting proposal alone was expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs.
Genting issued a statement saying that company officials “continue to want to invest in New York and plan to do so for years to come,” but that the uncertainty surrounding Mr. Cuomo’s efforts to push through a constitutional amendment to create a framework for casinos in the state made it difficult to reach a deal.
But it also appeared that the company’s desire for the exclusive right to operate in New York City hampered the talks.
On Friday, Mr. Cuomo sought to cast the breakdown of the deal as a positive, saying the state is now entering into discussions with other gambling companies. He said he planned to set up a competitive bidding process and entertain other casino proposals next year.