MGM Resorts expresses interest in developing integrated resort in New York


New York’s governor dealt a blow to plans by Malaysia-based Genting to build a massive resort development in New York City, but potentially opened the door for Nevada-based casino operators.

In a late Friday afternoon radio interview, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a plan for the nation's largest convention center and potential casino at New York City's Aqueduct racetrack was scrapped.

"The conversations hadn't really worked out," Cuomo said of talks with Genting, which operates the slot machine-only Resorts World at Aqueduct. Genting hoped to expand the casino at the racetrack while adding a hotel and convention center.

Cuomo said he's now talking to additional developers who could compete next year for a project at a different location.

MGM Resorts International quickly indicated the company’s interest.

In an email late Friday, MGM Resorts spokesman Alan Feldman said the company, which operates 10 Strip resorts and CityCenter, continues “to explore opportunities to bring our unique destination resort and convention experience to New York.”

Feldman said Cuomo’s vision “creates an exciting opportunity for MGM to help achieve the state's economic development goals.”

Cuomo unveiled the development as a centerpiece of his State of the State speech in January. The proposed convention center would be located between New York City's airports. Trains could easily transport convention attendees and gamblers from Manhattan and Long Island.

Feldman said the company’s integrated resorts model “will result in thousands of jobs for New Yorkers and tremendous economic opportunities for local businesses."

In a statement late Friday, Genting said it remains in the competition and supports Cuomo's approach.