Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

Same as it ever was: “That’s how you get [casino] projects done, right? You inflate the job prospects, you inflate the revenue.”

New York Magazine's May 28, 2024 feature New Jackpot City is well worth the read. Note the subheading, "Eleven rivals. Countless billions. One prize: the right to build a casino in the heart of New York."

Noah Shachtman writes:
The Encore [Boston Harbor], which is operated by Wynn [Resorts], is considered a relatively strong performer among recent big-city casino projects, not all of which have proved profitable. A recent report by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that the site has generated nearly 10,000 jobs and is netting the state $1 billion a year in new economic activity. But Chicago’s casino experiment has been a disaster, pulling in less than half the revenue promised... In New York, Resorts World is one of three companies operating casinos upstate, and none of them have hit the revenue projections they initially promised. Several have renegotiated with the state to substantially cut their tax rates. One source with deep gaming-industry connections shrugs at the discrepancy: “That’s how you get projects done, right? You inflate the job prospects, you inflate the revenue.”
(Emphasis added)

Flashback, 2004

Some remember the initial campaign by original Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner, as in the October 2004 flyer below.
  • Q. How many jobs will Atlantic Yards create and retain?
  • A. 10,000 permanent jobs. 15,000 construction jobs.
Of course "retain" allowed for the possibility that the space for 10,000 office jobs would accommodate jobs retained in New York, just moved for another location. 

In the end, no office space has ever been built. (Remember the mantra, "Projects change, markets change." Yes, there are permanent jobs in retail and at the arena. But that wasn't the focus.)

As to 15,000 construction jobs, such work is calculated in job-years, so 15,000 construction jobs meant an average 1,500 jobs a year over ten years. Or, if built over 25 years, an average of 600 jobs a year. Over 30 years, that's 500 jobs a year.