New York State’s Video Lottery Terminals set records for revenue in this past fiscal year, ending March 31.
In fact, the state’s VLTs recorded $2 billion in revenue, up 0.5 percent over last year’s record of $1.98 billion.
According to a report released by The New York State Gaming Commission on May 10, the more than 10,000 VLTs at Resorts World Casino New York City and Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway helped set the record revenue pace.
Resorts World Casino New York City’s 5,300 VLTs brought in an additional $8.2 million over the previous fiscal year. The 5,300 VLTs at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway brought in another $20.9 million over the 2015/2016 numbers.
After Native American gaming came to New York State in the 1990s, area racetracks began lobbying to legalize VLTs at racetrack facilities in an effort to compete. Lawmakers eventually approved, and in 2004 the Saratoga Raceway became the first racetrack to offer VLTs. VLTs have since spread to more than a dozen racetrack properties around the state, turning these facilities into Racinos.
VLTs – Slots by a Different Name
The VLTs in New York State are essentially slot machines. The difference is that a slot machine result is determined by a random number generator inside the machine. VLTs in New York are linked to a central computer run by the state lottery and the outcome of each spin is determined by an electronic lottery drawing or scratch-off game. Both slots and VLTs are games of chance with predetermined return-to-player rates on each game type.
Lotto Sales Stay Strong
In the meantime, other lottery game sales helped the state come close to setting another record for overall sales.
Traditional lottery games, including Mega Millions and Powerball, saw $7.68 billion in sales, only slightly off last year’s record of $7.7 billion. Draw game sales reached $3.68 billion, keeping pace with last year’s record of $3.79 billion. Instant games sales, including scratch offs, were actually up 2.3 percent over last year’s record of $3.91 billion, hitting the $4 billion mark.
Combined lottery sales and VLT revenues reached $9.67 Billion, just off the $9.69 Billion record set in the 2015/2016 fiscal year.
Half a Century of Success
The New York Lottery is North America’s largest and most profitable. All profits from the lottery operations go to aid public school education across the state.
The lottery earned $3.27 billion for New York State school districts in this past fiscal year.
This year mark’s the 50th anniversary of the lottery in New York.
“As the New York Lottery celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it’s fitting that the numbers prove that New Yorkers continue to support the continent’s most profitable Lottery,” NY Lottery Commission’s Division Director Gweneth Dean said in a release.
“For the past five decades, the New York Lottery has broken record after record to help taxpayers and students across the state. We will continue to innovate and deliver fun and exciting ways to play Lottery games while maximizing revenue to support education.”