(Bloomberg) -- Kuala Lumpur-based Genting Bhd., which operates a video slot-machine parlor at the Aqueduct Racetrack in the New York City borough of Queens, said it paid a $1 million application fee Wednesday as it scours the region north of Manhattan for a resort and casino location.
Genting, controlled by Malaysian billionaire Lim Kok Thay, has been expanding abroad amid restrictions on its home soil, where Muslims are forbidden from gambling under Malaysia's Shariah laws.
"We are excited to work with local municipalities and the state of New York to acquire a site where we can build a facility that will further bolster the Empire State's thriving tourism economy," said Christian Goode, a senior vice president for Genting Americas, in a statement.
As other Las Vegas gambling companies stay away, Caesars Entertainment Corp. is also bidding to build a $750 million casino. Caesars, which operates 39 casinos in the U.S., is the only operator based in the Nevada gaming hub to enter a bid so far.
The four licenses were authorized by a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November after Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed it through the legislature. Executives with Las Vegas Sands Corp., the largest U.S.-based casino operator, said at the time that the plan was a loser in part because it didn't allow for casinos in New York City.
Sands operates a casino 80 miles west of the city in Bethlehem, Penn. The casino planned by Caesars, which was reported yesterday by the New York Times, would place a gambling resort in Orange County near a commuter rail line and a popular outlet mall, a spokesman said. He declined further comment.
About 15 companies, which also include Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, have said they plan to submit bids for the licenses.