To enjoy the full gambling experience, New York City residents no longer need to take expensive four-hour bus rides to hit the gambling strip in New Jersey's Atlantic City. Driving two and a half hours to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, has also been nearly knocked out of the equation due to the surge in popularity of New York City's Resorts World Casino.
With over 5,000 slots and electronic table games, along with an inside bar/lounge that features a high-definition, 28-foot video screen and circular stage, Resorts World Casino is clearly a legitimate threat to Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun's incredible dominance of the East Coast gambling scene.
Business Is Booming
According to the Queens Gazette, gross gaming revenues for the first month of 2013 were close to $60 million.
Heading into 2013, Resorts World Casino had already shattered the record for gross slot gaming revenue and tax-generation in New York State in a 12-month span, with over $460 million in revenue raked in for the state, including over $290 million in funding for education.
Resorts World, which generated almost $700 million total in gross gaming revenue in 2012, was the "highest grossing slot revenue generator in the nation" last year, according to the Queens Gazette.
Located at Aqueduct Raceway, adjacent to JFK International Airport, and close to Citi Field, the casino is easily accessible by public transportation, and a new free shuttle bus from Jamaica Train Station that was introduced earlier this year makes getting there easier.
Should Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun be worried about losing revenues generated from would-be gamers coming from New York?
Not so fast.
Besides the perk of free adult beverages while gaming, Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun have another important factor that Resorts World lacks: a true "vacation" experience.
Free Drinks, Table Games, and Hotel Rooms
Atlantic City features over a dozen Las Vegas-style hotel casinos, including iconic gambling hot spots like Harrah's, Bally's, and the Trump Taj Mahal. Folks who gamble in Atlantic City can play slots and then easily spend the night in one of the area's many hotels.
As for Mohegan Sun, there's over 1,200 available hotel rooms, along with a 12,000-seat arena that plays host to combat sports events and WNBA games. At Mohegan Sun, customers can also play poker and blackjack, both of which are not currently offered at Resorts World Casino.
Some New Yorkers think the lack of poker and blackjack tables alone will keep many away from Resorts World. "People will be curious at first, but real gamblers play table games," said 29-year-old Greenlawn, New York, resident Samantha Lowry-O'Keefe, an agent at Huntington's Nationwide Insurance office. "So maybe Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun will lose a few older customers who love penny machines, but not the real gamblers who enjoy poker, blackjack, and other table games."
According to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report, Genting -- the Malaysian group that runs Resorts World -- wants to attach three hotels with 3,000 rooms to the casino, which would provide guests with the opportunity to spend the night. That's an option they don't currently have, and it's a good way to cut deeper into Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun's revenues.
"I think Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun have become more famous for the other things they offer, other than just the casino," said Rego Park, New York, resident Liz Degen. "It's about the overall experience. Who knows? Maybe a smaller-scale casino will help distribute the weight evenly. Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun will continue to cater to people and groups that want to get away for the weekend, drink, see a show, gamble, and stay at least one night."
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