Is the New York Casino Industry in Trouble?
It’s been more than three years since New York began allowing Las Vegas-style casinos to operate in the state.
Hope was high that the casino industry would bring some valuable revenue for New York, but a recent report from the Albany Times Union indicates that projections set years ago are far off the mark. Is the New York Casino industry in danger of failing?
New York Casinos in a Nutshell
For many years, New York limited casino gambling to Indian reservations. In 2013, that all changed when voters approved an amendment allowing for Vegas-style casinos to run inside the state. It was a major development for a part of the country that’s long combated the progression of various forms of gambling.
For his part, Anthony Cuomo has been welcome (at least sometimes) to New York embracing the gambling industry.
In 2016 he signed a bill declaring daily fantasy sports to be games of skill, and in recent months he’s stated his intention to legalize sports betting.
Three casinos have opened here since the bill passed in 2013. Unfortunately, each of the three have failed to hit the revenue projections set by the state. So what does this mean for the future of the industry here?
Future of Gambling in the State
It’s certainly not ideal for the state hoping to cash out on taxes, but there’s not too much to worry about. In 2017, the government was quick to point out that it often takes years for casino businesses to stabilize. Shortly afterward, casinos in New York began increasing in overall revenue.
The three recent casinos to open here, del Lago, Rivers, and Tioga Downs, are still more than $200 million short of the initial projected revenues. Del Lago, in particular, is struggling to gain a foothold in the market at 57% off the revenue projected in 2013.
Competition is certainly playing a factor. Casinos in the upstate area are cannibalizing each other’s earnings.
Could sports betting change things around? State Governor Anthony Cuomo recently declared he wanted sports gambling inside the state’s casinos. “It’s here and it’s a reality,” he commented at a theatre near the state capitol.
Steps to Get Sports Betting Legal in New York
The Supreme Court’s decision to declare PASPA unconstitutional last year made an impact on Cuomo calling for sports betting. States now have the ability to set their own laws on this popular form of betting, with New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania currently deeming it legal.
In order to regulate sports betting, the New York Gaming Commission will need to set clear regulations. Cuomo has stated he wants sports betting to be limited to casinos only. An ability for New Yorkers to bet on sports over the internet would take a constitutional amendment, according to the Governor.
The fact that the New York Governor is now pushing for sports gambling may be a great sign for the industry here. Casinos are working hard to hit the marks set for them, and legalized sports betting may be what they need to continue operating.
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