The jackpot at Resorts World Casino is a little leaner these days—though not for gamblers.
The 36-month-old racino at Aqueduct Raceway in Queens has enjoyed a run of record-breaking revenue and double-digit annual growth. But during the past year, its growth has slowed, just as its owner, Malaysia-based Genting Americas, is hoping to be approved by the state for a $1.5 billion luxury resort and casino in Tuxedo.
Resorts World's revenue this fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2015, will increase by "high single digits," compared with a 14% growth rate in the previous fiscal year, said Christian Goode, senior vice president of development for Genting Americas. Last fiscal year, it generated $792 million in revenue, of which $618.2 million went to paying fees and to Albany in the form of gambling taxes.
"Double-digit growth is simply not sustainable, but whether we get [a casino upstate], our efforts are full steam ahead in Queens," he added. "There is more we can do there."
Resorts World has not been as successful tapping into the robust tourism industry in the Big Apple as it would have liked. The vast majority of its customers are locals from Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. To attract more visitors, Mr. Goode is considering developing a hotel near John F. Kennedy International Airport—one that would offer better amenities than the existing budget airport properties—and help the casino capture international travelers, who would be shuttled directly to Aqueduct.