New NY Casinos Not Living Up to Financial Expectations
It’s safe to say that the three new casinos in New York state aren’t seeing the results they expected. Rivers, Tioga Downs and Del Lago casinos had earned a combined $222 million in gross gaming revenue in 2017 up until the end of August, which was a whopping $366 million less than predicted. The casinos projected earnings of $588 million in 2017 when they were pitched to the New York Gaming Facility Location Board.
An unfortunate side effect of the casinos’ struggles has been that the state and local municipalities aren’t receiving as much in tax revenue as they expected, either. By the time the calendar flipped to September, New York state had received just $70 million in government coffers from the three casinos combined. Earlier in the year, Governor Andrew Cuomo said upwards of $325 million in coffers would be earned once a fourth casino, Resorts World, opens its doors in Sullivan County in 2018.
Stance of Advocates
Advocates and local officials that pushed for the new projects insist that it typically takes a few years to truly assess how businesses will fare in the long term. They also say that certain economically-challenged municipalities have already benefited from over 3,300 new jobs that have been created as a result of the new casinos.
Back in 2013, when there was a big push to add new casinos, Governor Cuomo said Las Vegas-like gaming facilities would also bring additional tourism money to New York from out of state.
No Room for New Casinos?
Unfortunately, casino operators at a recent convention in Saratoga Springs said that the industry has already reached its saturation point in New York. In upstate New York alone, there are already six race tracks that include video lottery terminals in addition to six Indian nation casinos. A seventh Indian casino in Madison County is on the way, too
Tioga Downs, Rivers and del Lago
The owner of Tioga Downs, Manhattan-based real estate executive Jeff Gural, said that it was estimated that the initial business the casino would generate more money than they have to this point. He added that “looking at the numbers, it appears (the consultants) were just wrong.”
Del Lago has seen the slowest growth of the three casinos. It has generated just 33 percent of its estimated goal of $263 million since opening its doors for the first time back in February. Even if the casino brings in its highest estimated revenue per month until the end of 2017, it would still fall about $120 million short of initial estimates for the year.
Rivers has generated just 37 percent of its estimated $222 million to this point, as well. Executives at both del Lago and Rivers declined to answer questions regarding their respective casinos’ output to this point. Rivers general manager Mary Cheeks instead offered a generic statement: “As promised, Rivers continues to provide high-quality jobs, along with strong community and economic benefits.”
Tioga Downs has fared better than the other two, though it is still 50 percent short of its $103 million projection for 2017.
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