New York state racinos outperform Pennsylvania neighbors

Thursday, March 7, 2013
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— Growth this year at the state’s nine racinos is in sharp contrast to the trend of Pennsylvania’s 11 casinos, according to a report by the New York Gaming Association.

New York’s racetrack casinos, known as racinos, have seen their gross revenues for the first two months of 2013 increase 3 percent compared with the same period last year. NYGA President James D. Featherstonhaugh highlighted the 5 percent decrease in revenues at Pennsylvania’s casinos during the same time period as evidence that New York has the right model.

“The world-class management of our facilities combined with the incredibly successful public-private partnership we have with the state of New York is the envy of the industry and a model for how to do gaming right,” he said in a statement. “The numbers speak for themselves. While other states struggle with saturation and cannibalization, New York is producing better comparative returns.”

At the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, about $312 million was gambled on electronic machines in the first two months of 2013, a 6 percent decrease from $332 million in the same period in 2012, according to a report on the state Gaming Commission’s website. In January and February 2011, about $262 million was gambled there.

New York’s growth is mostly due to Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct. More than $2.44 billion was gambled there in the first two months of this year, compared with $1.9 billion in the same period last year.

Michael Speller, president of Resorts World Casino New York City, said in a statement: “Resorts World Casino New York City’s model has continued to maximize gaming revenue for New York State in a manner that has not been replicated by any other facility in the nation in our nearly year and a half of operation.”

Featherstonhaugh also noted that the nine racinos generate more tax revenue for New York than Pennsylvania’s 11 casinos because the racinos are subject to a higher effective tax rate.

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