I saw this article from Crain's New York posted the other day on Twitter by Teresa, so a hat tip to Ms. Brooklyn Backstretch. Some of this had been reported previously in dribs and drabs, so I don't know that it's news per se, but I think it is rather significant. Kind of the 'other shoe,' so to speak, as Genting here lays out clearly the rewards they wish to extract in return for building the convention center that even they admit will lose money. After all, they're not a charity; they still want something in return for providing the jobs that a convention center would create.
“We have to have a project here, and with a $4 billion private investment and no tax payer money there have to be business conditions, obviously, that are going to allow us to make this project feasible,” [spokesperson Stefan] Friedman said. [WNYC.com]So, naturally, Genting wants a bigger slice of the VLT pie. That share is currently approximately 30%.
While specific details on the agreement were unavailable, an example of the sort of situation Genting could be pushing for was given: Pennsylvania. According to a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, similar gaming operations about 55 percent. [WNYC}Genting, however, may want to point to an example closer to home. Recall that the legislature granted Louis Cappelli an unprecedented 75% share for his casino project at the Concord. That project has not, and may never, come to fruition. But that special rate was carved out for Cappelli for a project in which he would have invested only a quarter of what Genting is talking about for its $4 billion loss leader, and which would likely have created far less jobs.
Genting also and understandably wants assurances that a competing casino will not pop up in the area.
Christian Goode, Genting's senior vice president for development, said the company would have difficulty raising capital to finance the $4 billion project if its business model could be upended “with the stroke of a pen,” by a rival winning permission to open a gambling establishment in the immediate vicinity. [Crain's NY]Raise capital? These guys? They have more money than
The Crains article also mentions this:
Genting will pay for upgrades to the Aqueduct subway station and for direct A-train service to take passengers from Fulton Street in Manhattan to the site—with a stop in downtown Brooklyn—in half the 35 minutes it takes now.Huh? A private corporation funding an MTA project largely for their own economic benefit? The cost aside, doesn't the MTA have far more pressing needs in providing decent service to the residents and taxpayers of NYC and its environs than to devote personnel and resources to a privately-owned casino?
- Good excuse to stick in this video of a song with the same title as this post, from my favorite album of last year.