New York’s first casino in a shopping center will open in Newburgh | Jobs Reply

NEWBURGH, NY — As casino gaming booms in New York, malls are struggling.

Now, those two trends have come together in the Orange County city of Newburgh.

On Wednesday, CBS2 toured the soon-to-be-opened casino in a New York strip mall.

A flock of seagulls outnumbered cars at the Newburgh Mall, where Sears recently closed and many stores are empty.

But on the site of the old Bon-Ton store, Resorts World Hudson Valley Casino is about to open its doors.

“It was like it went downhill. It was almost ready to collapse, the mall,” said casino worker Renee Goldman.

Goldman is a Newburgh native who remembers the space as a department store. Now, he is one of 250 employees ready to greet gamblers who will focus on 1,200 slot machines and 82 electronic table games.

“The infrastructure that’s built inside these malls is really amazing, and if we can find a way to reuse them, it’s going to be better for everyone,” said Meghan Taylor, VP of Resorts World New York.

Taylor said remodeling the anchor store saved on construction costs, allowing designers to focus on interior finishes that reflect the Hudson Valley’s surroundings.

The 90,000 square-foot facility lacks something you find inside most casinos — a restaurant. The assumption is that the casino will attract new customers, creating a need for new businesses within the struggling mall.

“Now that you have a customer base, there will be restaurants, maybe shops, jewelry stores, that kind of thing that usually follows a casino,” said Newburgh Supervisor Gil Piaquadio. “That will really help the mall owner stay afloat.”

Two casinos recently opened in southern Pennsylvania malls. Both report that vacancy rates are low and mall foot traffic is up.

As New York expands in-person gaming and online sports betting, some worry about compulsive gambling.

“Anytime we see an increase in access and availability of something, there’s always the potential for more problems. We’ve certainly seen an increase in our calls across the country,” said Colleen Jones of the New York Council on Problem Gaming.

So funding for addiction services is increasing.

A casino in a shopping center in New York will open on Dec. 28.

The casino will pay the city of Newburgh $3 million a year. Local residents are prioritized for jobs, which average $72,000 a year in wages and benefits.

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