New York’s four upstate casinos may have had their second-best December in history, but it was still insufficient to push the locations to a new annual record. For the whole of last year, the four locations reported US$680.6 million in gross gaming revenue, which is just US$10 million short of the current all-time high achieved in the previous calendar year.
Eight years ago, the Empire State kicked off operations for commercial casinos in the upstate region. The four properties are Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, Resorts World Catskills, del Laga Casino & Resort, and Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Three more licenses are on the way but for the downstate region, with the state expected to award them this year or next at the latest.
Finishing 2023 Strong, But Still Falling Short
According to the New York State Gaming Commission, the four gaming properties reported a total of US$55.99 million in revenue for December 2023. Only 2023 had a better record for the month with US$56.41 million. It was a strong end to 2023, and the casinos reported US$1.1 million from poker, the best poker-wise since April 2023.
del Lago Casino & Resort had the best month, as the Waterloo gaming establishment had its best month since March 2023, with US$14.26 million in commercial gambling revenue. Its numbers were enhanced by the highest slots total for a month since March with US$10.68 million, as well as the highest table game winnings of US$3.07 million since November 2022.
Then there was Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady had the largest revenue volume of all with US$17.5 million. Out of those, US$12.7 arrived from slots, while table games contributed US$3.8 million and poker around US$354k. An important metric for the casino for December 2023 was its sports betting revenue, as it hit US$628k. Its largest since December 2022.
Resorts World Catskills reported US$15.3 million in GGR for the month, which was the second-highest, among the four venues for the last month of 2023. Meanwhile, Tioga Downs was in the fourth spot in terms of performance, producing gross gaming proceeds of US$8.8 million. With the majority of the revenue coming from slot games or approximately US$7.8 million.
Downstate Expansion is on the Cards
As mentioned, the Empire State is working on awarding the downstate licenses and 2024 could be the year it becomes reality. There are plenty of candidates for the permits, including Las Vegas Sands. The company recently shared it is still confident about its bid to launch of multi-billion-dollar integrated casino resort in Nassau County in Long Island.
In addition to that, a pitch for a casino property in Coney Island has also recently gained traction. Thor Equities, the Chickasaw Nation, Legends Hospitality and Saratoga Casino Holdings’ project was recently backed by a petition signed by over 10,000 Brooklyn residents. Community support is a major factor when the state reviews proposals, and the support is a big boost for the consortium.