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Genting pledges US$1 bil in taxes to win NYC casino license

Bloomberg
Bloomberg • 2 min read
Genting pledges US$1 bil in taxes to win NYC casino license
Genting Malaysia Bhd, which operates the resort in Queens, is seeking one of the three new casino licenses officials are considering for the New York City area. Photo: Bloomberg
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The owner of the Resorts World casino in New York City said an expansion of its gambling offering there would lift its tax payments to the state to more than US$1 billion ($1.35 billion) annually.

Genting Malaysia Bhd, which operates the resort in Queens, is seeking one of the three new casino licenses officials are considering for the New York City area. The property paid more than US$600 million in taxes last year, according to a spokesman for the casino giant.

Genting is pledging to continue paying the state about 67% of its slot machine revenue in taxes, an amount that includes administrative fees and other expenses. The share paid for table games like blackjack would be lower, but enough to get the overall annual tax contributions over the US$1 billion mark.

The executive director of New York’s Gaming Commission told the board last month that environmental and other local approvals may delay the awarding of the licenses into late 2025. Many casino operators expected a decision this year, and some think the legislature can accelerate the process.

Potential bidders include Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and financier Steve Cohen, who has partnered with Hard Rock International. 

Genting, which operates next to the Aqueduct race track, and MGM Resorts International, which runs the Empire City Casino in Yonkers, are considered strong contenders because they already have facilities there. The new licenses would allow them to expand their offerings, including blackjack, roulette and other table games.

See also: Oceanus signs agreement with Shaoxing partners to expand wine distribution business

Under New York’s casino law, winners of the licenses will pay a one-time US$500 million fee to the state. Bidders are expected to compete based in part on how much they are willing to pay in taxes. 

New York has some of the country’s highest casino taxes with an effective 55% rate on electronic devices, according to the American Gaming Association trade group. Casinos in Nevada — where Genting has a Las Vegas resort — pay 6.8%.

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