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Genting considers convention center at Aqueduct

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The developer of the Aqueduct racino may develop a plan to build a convention center at the site, but he had a few caveats before fully committing to a proposal.

“Resorts World is absolutely interested in undertaking additional projects on the land surrounding Aqueduct if the right opportunity exists, subject to approval of all relevant authorities, including the [state] Franchise Oversight Board,” Resorts World Casino New York spokesman Stefan Friedman said. “Of course, our focus right now is opening Resorts World Casino New York, which will help stimulate the local economy in Queens by providing 1,150 new, permanent jobs and countless indirect jobs into the community.”

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said he would support Genting, Resorts World’s parent company, if it decides to build a convention center.

“I think it’s a good conversation to have as Genting and Resorts World evolve,” Addabbo said. “If there’s an opportunity that Genting sees, certainly I see opportunities for jobs and revenue for the state. Do I think we need a convention center? Certainly, somewhere in the five boroughs, we do.”

Addabbo noted that the area around Aqueduct, close to John F. Kennedy International Airport, does not have a convention center and that trade shows and other expos go to Las Vegas and Orlando to hold conventions.

“We lose that kind of activity in the city,” the senator said.

Addabbo said he does have some concerns about a convention center, including public safety and exactly where the facility will be built.

Resorts World announced last month that it increased the number of permanent positions at the racino by 350 as it gears up for the opening of the VLT facility in late summer.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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