04/29/2011 4:27PM

Aqueduct casino seeking to add table games

Michael Amoruso
The Aqueduct grandstand has been gutted as work continues on the casino on April 9.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – In addition to 4,500 video-lottery terminals, the casino at Aqueduct also will house a limited number of electronic table game machines when it opens later this summer, with the hopes that regular table games will be able to be offered sometime in the future.

Michael Speller, president of Genting New York, which will run the casino to be known as Resorts World New York, said discussions are ongoing with the State Lottery over how many electronic table games Resorts World can offer. Similar machines have been installed at the casino at Saratoga Harness in upstate New York.

“They have been beta-tested by the lottery, they’re approved, and we’re working through those numbers now,” Speller said Friday during a tour of the empty space that will soon be the new casino.

Originally slated to encompass two floors at Aqueduct, Resorts World New York will actually occupy three floors. The third floor will be what Speller described as an “event-space area” that will used for concerts, parties, corporate affairs, and if, future law allows, table games.

“If there’s an opportunity for table games down the road, we’d be very happy to be a part of it,” Speller said.

With the New York Racing Association moving its product to Belmont on Friday, Aqueduct has become a full-fledged construction zone, with crews from Tudor-Perini, the construction company in charge of building the casino, working 20 hours a day. The first and second floors have been completely gutted and new wiring is being installed. The first floor of the casino, which will be known as the Times Square Casino, will house 2,500 slot machines and is expected to be completed by “late summer,” Speller said. Speller added that he hopes to soon be able to announce an official grand opening, but must finalize schedules with Tudor-Perini.

The first-floor also will include a full-circle bar, known as a 360-bar, that will have a 28-foot stage above it. The middle of the bar will have a 16-foot-by-30-foot television screen. The first floor will include a seven-outlet food court that will include a variety of stores. There also will be two buffets. A six-story, 2,500-space parking garage will be built on the west side of the facility and is expected to be completed as part of Phase 1.

Phase 2, which is expected to be completed by year’s end, will be the second-floor casino, known as the Fifth Avenue Casino. It will have approximately 2,000 VLTs, some of which will be in part of a separate VIP area known as the Rockford Club. There will be two upscale restaurants – R W Prime, specializing in steak and seafood, and Genting Palace, a Chinese restaurant – as well as a bar.