Only a brief eight months after Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct made its debut as New York City’s first gambling establishment, it was robbed late Friday afternoon.
Police say the unarmed suspect entered the casino in South Ozone Park at around 4:30 p.m. He then passed a demanding note to a cashier, acted as if he had a handgun in his waistband and fled the location with an undetermined amount of cash.
The suspect is described as male, approximately 30-years-old and 5 feet 8 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers.
Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for the casino, said that they are working closely with with the NYPD to investigate the incident.
“Our first priority is the safety of our guests and we are doing everything possible to ensure it—including conducting a full review of security procedures to improve the safety and integrity of our facility—and apprehend the perpetrator,” Friedman said.
State Senator Joe Addabbo (D – Howard Beach) said the robbery was an isolated event but still expressed concern for a lack of existing safety procedures that allowed for the crime to happen.
“I am interested in the possible changes in the method of notifying the police in a timely manner and the practice of monitoring a situation in progress,” Addabbo said in a press release. “I will continue to advocate for the hiring of additional security personnel on the premises of the casino in an effort to create jobs and supplement the safety of the patrons there.”
The robbery came at the heels of data released by the state last week that reports the casino generated $57.5 million during May 2011, the highest revenue of any casino in the nation.
Police are still on the lookout for the suspect. Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.