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Casino The Key to Queens Convention Center Funding

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Why would a company agree to fully fund the construction of a multi-billion-dollar convention center miles away from midtown Manhattan, when such projects are regularly heavily subsidized money losers? If you answered "casino", then you're a winner! Part of the deal that Governor Cuomo signed with Malaysia's Genting Group to build a convention center at the Aqueduct site near JFK includes an agreement to allow the expansion of Genting's existing gambling site at Aqueduct into an all-out casino in New York City, according to the WSJ.

An analyst with one of the two largest banks in Malaysia remarked that a beneficial outcome for Genting relied on the addition of a full casino to the convention center plan. "I think the key thing here is the potential introduction of table gambling games as opposed to only slot machines at the Aqueduct Racetrack. This could fetch higher margins for Genting Malaysia." Any benefits, however, are not expected for at least two years, to give New York time to amend its state constitution, which limits casino gambling to locations on Native American reservations.

· Convention Pact Includes Queens Casino [WSJ]
· A Convention Center at Aqueduct Is Urged [NYT]
· Experiencing Las Vegas, in Queens [NYT]
· US invites Genting to build center in New York [The Star]
· Aqueduct coverage on Curbed [Curbed]