The Aqueduct Racetrack of New York is reportedly planning to expand and is scheduling a December date to get started. With a $400 million budget, the facility would like to add a whopping 750,000 square feet to the gaming area as well as include hotel guest rooms, retail space and entertainment. The plan has yet to be sent to the New York Racing Association on the project details.
It was during the NYRA Franchise Oversight Board meeting that Genting New York, the company behind the Aqueduct Racetrack, announced their expansion plans. The meeting took place yesterday and saw Genting New York reveal that final approval on the plans must still be given by the state. The group is working on the preliminary designs and once completed, will send the plans for review.
Speaking to the board on the project, Resorts World Casino New York President, Ryan Eller, stated that the first phase of the plan is the beginning of a master plan to see the site turned into a fully integrated resort. With the plan, Resorts World would be put into a position for offering a full casino when (or if), the state of New York decides to award commercial casino licensing downstate. Three licenses have been awarded for casinos to be created upstate, which will allow the venues to offer real slot games instead of the standard video lottery terminal as well as table games.
The Franchise Oversight Board had many questions about the plans, according to bloodhorse.com. Board members asked if input from the NYRA would be considered and if the purses would be impacted if the plan fails. Another concern was if the racing season would be disrupted as the construction would be ongoing until 2019.
Eller commented that if the market of Aqueduct was not able to grow as estimated due to the expansion then there could be a negative impact on the purses. A significant impact in a negative manner could exist with the Aqueduct gaming venue if the state of New Jersey decides to legalize commercial casinos for the northern region. Eller believes that expanding Aqueduct would only make the venue more competitive and help to offset some of the impact.