Cuomo's Convention Center Plan Goes Poof

Thomas Kaplan and Danny Hakim report on the collapse of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's $4 billion plan to create the country’s largest convention center and a casino in Queens.
June 4, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Only unveiled by Cuomo in January, as a centerpiece of his State of the State address, and beset by question marks from the beginning, the project was to have been built by Genting, a Malaysian gambling company, at the Aqueduct racetrack near Kennedy Airport.

According to Kaplan and Hakim, Cuomo announced on Friday that negotiations between the state and Genting had broken down. "The revelation left a fog of uncertainty over Mr. Cuomo's drive to bring casino gambling to New York City, which his administration views as a key source of jobs and revenue. The Genting proposal alone was expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs."

Uncertainty over the prospects for Cuomo's efforts to push through a constitutional amendment to create a framework for casinos in the state and Genting's desire for the exclusive right to operate in New York City were cited as the main causes for the deal's collapse.

"On Friday, Mr. Cuomo sought to cast the breakdown of the deal as a positive, saying the state is now entering into discussions with other gambling companies. He said he planned to set up a competitive bidding process and entertain other casino proposals next year."

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Published on Friday, June 1, 2012 in The New York Times
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