Industry Reports

Expectations vs. Reality: New York State Gaming Revenue Edition

Upstate New York casino resorts have experienced eventful several months since in-person sports wagering was officially introduced ahead of the NFL season start in the fall of 2019. The beginning of 2020 is a time for taking a good look at the achievements of the past 12 months. Gaming revenues in the four commercial casinos in the region saw a surge when compared to the performance in 2018.

Commercial casino gaming is one of the popular forms of gambling for New Yorkers, as online gaming is still a thing players could only wish for. del Lago in the Finger Lakes; Rivers in Schenectady, Resorts World in Sullivan County, as well as Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier are the four locations in question.

Gaming Revenue in 2019

The said casino resorts are all striving to attract the biggest crowd with their diverse gaming offerings, as well as through the expansion of their gaming products available. In-person sports wagering has equated to a significant boost in the overall number of players making their way there, which subsequently affects the gaming revenue generated. An upwards progression has been reported.

New York State Gaming Commission issued more information on the performance of the four commercial casino locations in Upstate New York. Resorts World Catskills was the casino location that managed to witness the biggest gaming revenue jump of all four. There was a 48-percent surge when compared to the performance it marked back in 2018. That was also its first year of operation since it held its ribbon-cutting ceremony in February 2018.

There is a US$6-billion hole in the state budget and gaming revenue is one of the ways it could be remedied. The month of December was able to see total sports wagering revenue of US$780,418, reaching a new low when it comes to the wagering performance. However, in the grand scale of things, the casinos saw a combined revenue jump of 18 percent in 2019.

NY State Projections

This equated to some US$618 million, which is more in comparison to the 2018 gaming revenue sum. Bob DeSalvio, president of Genting New York State, made it clear that about two years are needed for a casino resort to become a successful one, at least when it comes to the local gambling field. Cannibalization concerns have been expressed in the past, as there are four commercial and seven tribal casinos.

Gambling expansion in the upcoming years would aim to see the creation of several more casinos which could result in a more saturated local gambling market. None of the casinos were able to meet their previous gaming revenue projections. Tioga Downs estimated back in 2015 that fiscal 2019 would bring US$107 million. However, in reality, it netted some US$83 million. Del Lago Casino Resort saw US$157 million over the past 12 months, even though it projected some US$282 million back in 2014.

Resorts World Catskills amassed some US$209 million over fiscal 2019, even though it projected it would generate upwards of US$302 million. As for Rivers Casino is witnessed gaming revenue of US$169 million, regardless of previously projected US$222 million. Del Lago Casino was able to support its community with US$270 million. Moreover, it currently offers permanent job positions to 1,700 individuals.