After amending its constitution in 2013 in order to permit the building of up to seven Las Vegas-style commercial casinos, the future for the gambling industry in New York looks bright with the sector reportedly set to produce around $325 million in annual revenues from next year.
According to a Kyle Hughes report published by NYSNYS News, New York had only two tribal casinos as recently as 2000, the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort And Casino near the city of Rome and the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort from the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, which is located along the state’s northern border with Canada. Both of these facilities had opened in the 1990s following a change to federal laws while subsequent alterations to state regulations saw the “Empire State” legalize racinos, join the multi-state Mega-Millions lottery draw and permit the Seneca Nation Of Indians to transform a derelict convention center into its Seneca Niagara Resort And Casino.
Following last week’s opening by operator Rush Street Gaming of the $330 million Rivers Casino And Resort Schenectady, New York reportedly now has eleven commercial and tribal casinos and is due to welcome the $1.2 billion Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County in March. The coming 18-story facility from Empire Resorts Incorporated, which also operates the nearby Monticello Casino And Raceway racino, is set to feature a 332-room hotel while its 80,000 sq ft casino complete with some 2,150 slots alongside 102 gaming tables is expected to help reinvigorate the once-thriving tourist economy of the Catskill Mountains.
“It really is a dream come true,” Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly declared during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Rivers Casino And Resort Schenectady. “We would be talking about this project sometimes and I would just say “It’s just too great”. It’s just too unbelievable that something this grand and powerful was going to happen but it did.”
A leading proponent of the 2013 change to the state’s constitution, 59-year-old Cuomo was also on hand earlier this month to welcome the first players to the Del Lago Resort And Casino, which is located between the cities of Syracuse and Rochester, and reportedly called the $40 million venue “a magnificent monument of how intelligent the decision” had been.
“The growth you are seeing now all across upstate New York is going to increase exponentially so we are on our way,” Cuomo reportedly declared on February 1. “Let’s cut this ribbon and let’s get to those slot machines.”
Despite being denied the chance to host a commercial casino until an embargo is lifted in 2022, the city of New York is home to a pair of slots-only racinos, which encompass the Resorts World Casino New York City at Queens’ Aqueduct Racetrack and the Empire City Casino At Yonkers Raceway, with the American Gaming Association recently reporting that the venues together accounted for about 70% of the eastern state’s total gambling revenues in 2015.
“We congratulate Del Lago [Resort And Casino] and Rivers [Casino And Resort Schenectady] on their openings and welcome them to the New York gaming market,” read a recent statement from Tim Rooney, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Empire City Casino At Yonkers Raceway. “Entertainment destinations can serve as vital economic engines, job creators and education revenue generators as evidenced by the nearly $3 billion Empire City [Casino At Yonkers Raceway] has generated for state education in just ten years. We wish these new casinos that same success and are excited to develop a full-scale gaming property in Westchester as soon as possible. The economic prospects locally and regionally are endless.”
In terms of lottery, the New York State Gaming Commission recently explained that the New York State Lottery, which will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2017, took in approximately $9.7 billion during its 2015/16 fiscal year while producing more than $3.3 billion in revenues.
However, Hughes described horseracing as the “also-ran in New York’s gambling explosion” and reported that the sport’s future in the state remains cloudy as players gravitate towards other venues in order to spend their cash. Official figures from the New York State Gaming Commission showed that the activity took in about $1.5 billion in 2015 with $884 million of this bet at the tracks although Cuomo has yet to visit the upstate Saratoga Race Course, which is the oldest operating sports venue in the United States, since taking office in 2011.