Tuesday, Jun 25, 2019
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NYC casino ‘a concern’ for Atlantis

A new casino now open in New York City is creating more concerns for Atlantis, Guardian Business can reveal, as the resort’s chief renewed his concern about the rise of legalized gambling centers in the U.S.

George Markantonis, the president and managing director of Kerzner International (Bahamas), addressed the opening at the end of last month about Resorts World New York City, a casino based in Queens.

While it only offers slot machine gambling, the door is now open for more casinos in the lucrative northeast U.S. market.

“Queens is just as much a concern for us as South Florida,” Markantonis said.

Two counties there recently approved referendums allowing slot machine gambling, although state level approval is still required.  Still, three substantial brands including Wynn, Las Vegas Sands and Genting Berhad are eyeing developments in South Florida.

“The issue for us is as these casinos open it puts pressure on us, because they can rely on drive-in traffic, whereas we have to ask the consumer in North America to drive to the airport, go through security, check their bags, go back through security on the way out.  When they get here, they have to go through immigration, then customs.”

According to Markantonis, while developments in New York are on the radar, competition from large integrated resorts, like those potentially to be added to South Florida’s offerings, was a bigger concern.

“Those [integrated] resorts being talked about in South Florida are not just a casino with a hotel,” Markantonis said.

“Against that type of competition we can do good battle, because we are not just a hotel with a casino.  We have dolphins, we have three beaches, we have a whole aquaventure water park.  There’s a lot of other things to do, so the package is huge.”

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