Orange County in New York State could soon become a major gaming hub if Resorts World Catskills’ plan to open a new electronic gaming casino at the struggling Newburgh Mall come to fruition.
The project was originally set for the former Nepera Chemical plant in the village of Harriman, however, those plans fell through after an environmental review of the land showed that it was more contaminated than was previously thought and would not be buildable for nearly a decade.
In a recent statement to the Times Herald-Record, Genting, the parent company of Resorts World said…
“Developing a video gaming machine facility in Orange County has, for many years, been part of Resorts World’s long-term vision for Hudson Valley and the Catskills. It will create hundreds of good-paying unions jobs, generate significant revenue for New York’s public schools, and is an important step in ensuring the long-term sustainability of Resorts World Catskills.”
Legislation sponsored by state Sen. James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) was passed in June 2019 allowing video-lottery terminals (VLTs) from gaming operations at Monticello Raceway in neighboring Sullivan County, which ceased on April 22, 2019, to be relocated to Orange County. And while it [the bill] did not specify a location, Skoufis had reportedly pushed for Resorts World to build its VLT hall at the former chemical plant that closed in 2005.
As part of the deal for the original project, the senator required that the chemical plant property be cleaned by Resorts World parent company, Empire Resorts, which is 88.7 percent owned by Kien Huat Realty Sdn Bhd of Genting Group, and that it pay taxes in full to the Monroe-Woodbury School District, Town of Woodbury, and villages of Harriman and Woodbury. Both of the conditions were agreed to at the time.
Citing a press release from Skoufis’ office, a source reports that the senator said at the time…
“I’m not particularly pro- or anti-gambling so I used this opportunity to deliver real, substantive economic benefits to the constituents I represent. The former Nepera Chemical Plant property has been a contaminated blight in our community for years; as a result of this project, it will now be cleaned, put back on the tax rolls and employ approximately 400 local residents.”
According to the Times Herald-Record, the gambling hall in Newburgh is expected to employ as many as 225 people and be completed within a year once Resorts World has received the necessary approvals from the city of Newburgh and the New York State Gaming Commission. It has yet to be determined just how many electronic gaming machines will be housed at the proposed Newburgh site, which is located on Route 300. When gaming operations ended in 2019, Monticello Raceway reportedly had 1,100 VLTs, which it had hosted since 2004.
Plans for the current project are scheduled to be presented to the Newburgh Town Board by Resorts World on Feb. 22. Meanwhile, Town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio said that in order to allow gaming in that area, the board would have to amend its zoning, and would also require approval from the Planning Board once an environmental review is performed, as reported by the news agency.