Monday, December 19, 2011

Resorts World New York City: Good Effort But No Dice

"I heard that you were trouble but I couldn't resist..."

Resorts World Casino is the first entertainment destination of its kind in the five boroughs of New York City. Owned by the Genting Group, this property operates over 4,200 video lottery terminals (VLT), 470 electronic table games, 4 VIP lounges, 18 food and beverage outlets (with two fine dining options) and boasts the largest catering and events space in Queens. Last week, the casino held a private party / tour for media to preview the second and third floors of their brand new facility just prior to the public opening that afternoon.

Being fascinated with how the casino industry has changed from basic gaming parlors to mega resorts / vacation spots, I was super excited to check this property out and of course made a special trip to NYC to attend this event (even though I was in the middle of my grad school finals). I arrived a tad late (more on that later), but had a chance to tour Fifth Avenue Casino, which contained an invite only VIP gaming room and two new restaurants -- the RWPrime Steakhouse, featuring steaks and seafood with an open kitchen concept and the Genting Palace Restaurant, a fine-dining Chinese restaurant featuring dim sum for lunch and Cantonese cuisine for dinner. Below are some photos from the event.
Wheel of Fortune in the VIP Slot Room
View of the Race Track from the Events Room Balcony
Holiday Decor!
Mr. Crab Dinner at Genting Palace Restaurant
Open Kitchen at RWPrime
So what's my verdict? Hmmm...even though I completely commend the effort put into this monstrous casino and respect the job creation it'll provide for local residents, I would say the venue lacks that "je ne sais quoi" that would compel me to revisit. Now to be fair, I'm not really much of a gambler, but something about the whole place felt slightly sterile and almost corporate. Not to mention, the place is terribly hard to navigate (I got lost twice within 30 minutes) and all the employees I asked had trouble pointing me to the locations of the bathrooms (ummm...I know this place is new but isn't that a pretty basic guest request?). Furthermore, the drive out to Resorts World took almost an hour from the City (not even during rush hour) and the area surrounding the casino was sketchy like whoa (this might explain the spiked fences they have surrounding the property). Bottom line, this place probably is a great option for the serious gambler (the number and variety of slot and table games is quite impressive), but it's going to take a lot more than a few bright lights and spinning wheels to lure me back to this half-baked idea for a Las Vegas-esq resort / casino in the Big Apple.

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