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Large Convention Center Planned In Queens, N.Y.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now to New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to help that state's economy by building the nation's largest convention center in the New York City borough of Queens. He's turning to an Asia-based conglomerate that specializes in casino gambling.

From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz reports.

IIYA MARRITZ, BYLINE: For Governor Cuomo, the logic of this convention center is simple.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO: It'll be all about jobs, jobs, jobs. Tens of thousands of jobs, building the number one convention center in the country.

MARRITZ: And the cherry on the sundae: there's already has a private investor ready to spend $4 billion building it. Genting Group. Jon Oh is a research analyst for CLSA Securities.

JON OH: Genting is one of the biggest gaming conglomerates in the world.

MARRITZ: The company translates its name as Top of the Mountain.

OH: Back in the 60s, they originated from the flagship casino in Malaysia called the Genting Highlands, which still today, serves as the single and monopoly casino in the country.

MARRITZ: Over the years, Genting has expanded in all directions. There are casinos in Singapore and Britain, oil wells in China and Morocco. Now Genting is turning its attention to the U.S.

Jon Oh says, in addition to the project in Queens, Genting is campaigning to build a futuristic, casino-entertainment complex In downtown Miami.

OH: They sniffed an opportunity which is right now washing across, largely in the East Coast of America, where incremental states are legalizing gaming.

MARRITZ: Hard times mean a lot states are looking to casino gambling for new revenue.

OH: For NPR News, I'm Ilya Marritz in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.