Industry Reports

Upstate New York Casinos Avoided Paying State US$13m, Audit Claims

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently drew the attention to commercial casino venues of Upstate New York and a money issue that should not be overlooked. As he revealed, the state did not receive appropriate allocations from the casino venues, as to ensure that the state regulations are taken into account. The overall sum the four casino resorts have to pay amounts to US$13 million.

A casino location is obliged to make regular payments in gaming revenue allocations and taxes to the state, making sure that its operation is legal and supportive of the host community, as well as the state. Back in 2013, the state gave its nod to four licenses for operation but casino operators have the obligation to pay all costs related to their regulation.

Audit Stirs the Pot

In his audit, Mr. DiNapoli highlights the real issue here, making it known that the state kept a blind eye to some of the payments that were supposed to be shouldered. What is even more concerning for him is the fact that taxpayers’ money ended up covering the deficit created by the non-existent regular payments. The audit aims to shed more light and bring changes in the foreseeable future.

While the four commercial casino locations have avoided paying the regulatory costs of monitoring gaming operation on their premises. It should be taken into account that tribal casino locations and the venues offering the highly popular video lottery terminals have covered the aforementioned payments in a timely manner, whereas the commercial casino venues relied on New York State taxpayers’ cash to cover them.

Mr. DiNapoli wants to see some action taking place involving the New York State Gaming Commission. He pointed out in his audit that the commission has to demand the payment of US$13 million to happen in the foreseeable future. Del Lago, Resorts World Catskills, Rivers Casino, and Tioga Downs are the locations in question.

Collection to Start Soon

At the moment the four of them report unsatisfying results of their sports wagering operation taking place within their sports betting lounges. The month of December ended up being the worst when it comes to gaming revenue with total sports wagering revenue of US$780,418. In light of this 40-percent drop when compared to November 2019, some of the casinos seek better conditions and a certain reduction of their taxes.

This could help them stay afloat for the time being, ahead of a potential mobile sports wagering greenlighting. Some US$13 million generated between 2014 and 2019 would have to be collected, to support local education programs, as well as various payments on a state level. Video lottery terminals locations managed to amass some US$144.8 million in payments over the past three fiscal years.

Moreover, tribal locations allocated some US$8.9 million in payments on a regular basis aligning with the existing regulations. The audit further points that the New York State Gaming Commission claimed that it was a matter of time before it began issuing invoices, and this is not a case of a failed collection. Regardless, the agency also agreed that the collection should happen as soon as possible.