"All along, I have said that securing this deal and moving ahead with the project at Aqueduct is critical for the future of New York," Gov. David Paterson said in a statement. "The state, in partnership with Genting, has the opportunity to create jobs for the community and to revitalize this area. After almost a decade of delay, this project is finally becoming a reality and all New Yorkers will benefit."
Genting New York officials, after turning over $380 million in licensing fee payments to the state, said they’re prepared to quickly start construction on the Aqueduct casino project.
"We are planning to make this a very impressive entertainment destination for all of New York," said Michael Speller, president of the company that is owned by a Malaysian-based casino corporation.
Speller said construction will begin "almost right away" after final environmental permits are issued for the project, which will feature 4,500 slot machines. He said 1,600 of those devices will be turned on by sometime next spring, with the rest up and running 6 months later. The full project development, which will include restaurants and entertainment space, will come within 18 months later.