The early numbers are in and proving New York’s first commercial casinos are a big hit.
New York voters supported a constitutional amendment that authorized the issue of three commercial gaming licenses in 2013. A year later, licenses were granted to the del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, and the Montreign Resort and Casino in the Catskill Mountains.
The Tioga Downs racetrack and Video Lottery Terminal gaming operation in Nichols, NY was unsuccessful in its bid for a license, but continued campaigning until it was given a full gaming license later that year.
After a massive renovation, the new Tioga Downs Casino opened its doors in December 2016. The del Lago Resort & Casino came next, opening on February 1, 2017, and Rivers Casino and Resort opened up a week later.
The $1 billion Montreign Resort and Casino is scheduled open in the Catskills in the Spring of 2018 and recently announced it would operate under the Resorts World brand.
Revenues Piling Up
According to numbers released by the New York Gaming Commission, del Lago and Rivers have each been earning an average of close to $3 million in gaming revenues each week since they opened a little under three months ago.
In the meantime, the relatively smaller Tioga Downs has been averaging around $1.3 million in gaming revenues each week through its first approximately five months in operation.
What’s on Offer?
Del Lago is currently the largest commercial casino operation in New York with 2001 slots, electronic table games and video poker machines. It also hosts 89 live table games.
Rivers hosts 1,150 slots and 82 live table games while Tioga Downs features 950 slots and 35 live table games.
The Best is Yet to Come
While impressive on face, the numbers are actually below projections.
Before launch, del Lago was projected to average $5.4 million per week and Rivers $4.3 million.
However, those projections were meant to be met after both casinos were complete. Both have hotels currently under construction onsite that are expected to open this summer.
In the meantime, the New York Gaming Commission numbers also showed it had collected $23,425,384 in gaming taxes from the three commercial casino operations through the month of March.
The totals were $7,504,040 from Tioga Downs, $7,783,304 from del Lago and $8,138,040 from Rivers.
While the early returns are impressive, the state is also currently considering passing legislation allowing the new commercial casino properties and other gaming operations in the state to offer online poker as a way to boost the gaming tax numbers even further.