Casino News

Empire City Casino Boasts Significant Local Contribution

This year Empire City Casino celebrates its 15 years anniversary since it first opened its doors for eager gamblers back in October 2006. During its premium gaming operations, the Yonkers-based casino has managed to accumulate over US$4 billion for New York State education, with more than US$1.3 billion being generated over the last five years.

The casino which started off as a family business turned into one of the preferred choices for NYS state gamblers over the last 15 years. In January 2019, the gaming facility was acquired by MGM Resorts, and it currently has the sixth-largest gaming floor in the country and the largest one from the company’s amenities.

Substantial Contribution

The US$4 billion for education are almost 40% of the total financial support accumulated for education by all video lottery terminal casinos in the State of New York. This only demonstrates the importance of the facility to the local economy. Before the closure in March 2020, Empire State Casino generated US$307 million for state education. On average the property brings US$25 million every month for education.

The casino’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Ed Domingo said that MGM Resorts can now proudly call NYS a home and the company is fully committed to the state. Mr. Domingo also shared that as the company celebrates 15 years of operations with the casino it is also looking forward to what the next 15 will bring.

In the history of Yonkers, Empire City Casino has been the largest private employer in the city with over 1,000 staff members with an annual wage bill that surpasses US$80 million. Also, 75% of the total employees are unionized labor, with most of the workers being local county residents from Yonkers and Mount Vernon.

Besides education, the Yonkers VLT casino also supports many other causes and organizations every year. This includes Feeding Westchester, World Central Kitchen, Health Research Inc., and many after-school programs. Additionally, the property spends US$30 million annually on local businesses and suppliers within 20 miles of it. This way it boosts the local economy and thus keeping the money in the region.

Shut Down

The unprecedented situation and the followed lockdown restriction have also affected the Yonkers property as similarly to all other gaming amenities in the state it had to suspend work in March 2020. The casino was sidelined for almost six months, as it was allowed to reopen in September 2020, but in reduced capacity and special health and safety protocols in place.

Local Backing

A while ago, the VLT casino was also backed by a local labor union in its attempt to acquire a full casino license, as the state is looking to issue three downstate casino licenses. “A Sure Bet for New York’s Future”, stated that the transformation of the casino into a fully-fledged one would be even more beneficial for the region, as the expansion of the property would provide additional revenue and more jobs.

Source: Caruso, Cristiana “Empire City Casino Celebrates 15 Years and $4 Billion for Education”, Westchester Magazine, November 2, 2021