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It has been a tough year for many of the land-based casinos (online casino revenues in NJ continue growing) around the country, and New York is no exception.

There might be light at the end of the tunnel, though: a vaccine is one the way, and there is hope that some things can start to go back to “normal.”

The casinos of Central New York, and other areas, need only to look to Queens to see the full potential of what the sites can be, even without some of the extras that come along with the casino experience.

Resorts World Casino New York recently announced it has generated more than $3 billion for the New York Lottery education system since opening in 2011. But as well as that, RWNY has provided jobs and helped programs throughout the city and state.

"Resorts World has been a model community partner in numerous ways – always reaching out and working with the community in good times and bad. Whether that's hosting job fairs, monthly meetings with the community, serving as an Early Voting site, or offering hundreds of well-paying jobs to the hard-working men and women of South Queens," New York State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said.

"The positive financial boost RWNY provides for our schools and students may be the most impactful. This partnership exemplifies the positive economic contributions the gaming industry has had on our state and should inspire us to take more action to create smart and responsible opportunities to embrace gaming in our state."

The Resorts World Casino unveiled the "Good Neighbor Network" last year, which is a community partnership initiative designed to inspire, empower, and advocate for social and economic good in Queens and throughout New York State.

It was formed to help with many community issues, including workforce development, arts and culture, and health and wellness. The Network will use its standing to assist groups by amplifying their work, helping them achieve fundraising goals, and connecting them with volunteers, supporters, and those in need of a good neighbor.

David Kupecky, who is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, knows just how important a business like Resorts World, or any of the 20 casinos in New York State, can be for the local community.

"As an organization dedicated to helping children reach their full potential, we see firsthand how important it is to support public schools in Queens and beyond,” Kupecky said.

“This has been an essential partnership for close to a decade and we look forward to many more years of working together to provide these young people with the support they need."

While Resorts World has the benefit of New York City, many of the other casinos around the state have large populations in their surrounding areas.

Just like in Queens, with RWNY opening a 400-room four-star hotel on the site (which has brought and will bring thousands of jobs to the area), the other casinos are waiting for the COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted so that they can return to full-service: hotel, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, which are still largely closed.

There is also the carrot of online sports betting in New York, which should dramatically boost the money heading into the state’s coffers.

If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.