New York’s Resorts World Commits To Over $1B Annual Tax Payments

Erik Gibbs

Updated on:

A view of Resorts World Casino in New York

Resorts World is set to significantly bolster New York’s financial resources. Genting Malaysia Bhd, the casino resort’s owner, has revealed ambitious plans to broaden its gambling services, estimating a potential annual tax revenue surpassing $1 billion.

Genting Malaysia is actively competing for one of three casino licenses earmarked for the New York City region. These licenses present a lucrative opportunity for operators to enrich their gaming offerings and cater to the city’s established gambling community.

The Resorts World property, already a prominent figure in the local gambling landscape, is striving to secure this sought-after license to further enhance its reputation.

In 2023, Resorts World substantially contributed to state revenue, with tax payments exceeding $600 million. Genting now pledges to sustain its commitment by allocating roughly 67% of its slot machine revenue toward taxes, encompassing administrative fees and ancillary expenses. While the contribution from table games such as blackjack may be comparatively lower, it remains a substantial part of reaching the targeted $1 billion mark.

New York imposes some of the nation’s highest casino taxes, with an effective rate of 55% on electronic devices. In comparison, in Nevada, where Genting also operates a Las Vegas resort, casinos face a tax rate of 6.8%.

The path forward

The process of awarding the new downstate casino licenses in New York is encountering delays for several reasons, including environmental and local approvals. This process is now anticipated to extend until late 2025.

Genting, strategically located adjacent to the Aqueduct race track, and MGM Resorts International, which operates the Empire City Casino in Yonkers, stand as formidable contenders due to their existing infrastructure. Securing licenses would empower them to expand their offerings, including popular table games.

The competition for New York casino licenses is intensifying with the involvement of several prominent contenders. Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are among the notable names seeking to extend their gaming operations into the market. Adding to the fervor, financier Steve Cohen, majority owner of the New York Mets, has partnered with Hard Rock International for a proposed casino project at Citi Field.

Under the scrutiny of the state’s gaming regulators, these contenders are vying for one of the limited number of spots available for downstate New York, encompassing the five boroughs, Long Island, and Westchester County. The selection process is rigorous, demanding not only a substantial financial commitment but also the endorsement of the local communities where the casinos are proposed.

Licenses won’t come cheap

To secure a license, applicants must satisfy various criteria as part of the competitive selection process. This includes a minimum capital investment of $500 million, accompanied by an equivalent license fee.

The gross gaming revenue will be subject to taxation at rates established during the application phase. Under the current structure, the minimum rates are 25% for slot gross gaming revenue and 10% for other sources.

Furthermore, applicants must garner public support through approval from the relevant Community Advisory Committee. They will also have to adhere to state and local zoning regulations.

A $1-million application fee payable to the gaming commission is also obligatory.

Additionally, the Gaming Facility Location Board evaluates factors such as the proposed gaming facility’s potential economic impact, business development prospects, local site considerations, and workforce augmentation. These considerations encompass capital investment, job creation, speed-to-market, and the applicant’s track record in developing and operating a high-quality gaming facility.