The first phase of the Aqueduct project opened October 1, with 2,200 gaming machines. Aqueduct and Empire City are located on opposite ends of the New York City market, so most observers downplay fears of significant cannibalization of the Yonkers facility, which generated about $550 million in gaming revenue last year.
“What’s amazing is how quickly (Aqueduct) caught up to speed,” said Gordon Medenica, director of the New York Lottery, told the New York Daily News. “They’re doing a great job. We couldn’t be happier.” He said they have siphoned off some of Empire City’s business, but most of the customers are coming from elsewhere.
Business will likely pick up at Resorts World which opened its second phase last month. The property unveiled two new floors, including a new gaming space (Fifth Avenue Casino) to go along with its existing wagering area (Times Square Casino). Aqueduct now operates 5,000 gaming machines, two 250-seat high-end restaurants and 70,000-square-feet of meeting space. A public transportation link, scheduled to be finished next spring, will complete the project.
“We have been truly humbled by the response of New Yorkers and tourists alike and we thank them for their ongoing support and patronage,” said Resorts World New York President Michael Speller told the Queens Times Ledger. “Due to the hard work of our 1,500-person staff, we’re confident that we will be able to continue providing the highest level of service to our customers as we unveil the second stage of our facility.”