Casino realizes $3 million in revenue in first week

A total of $27.3 million is spent in first six days
A gaming table at Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, Feb. 1, 2017.
A gaming table at Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, Feb. 1, 2017.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — Rivers Casino & Resort brought in $3 million in gaming revenue in its first week of business, according to data released Friday by the New York State Gaming Commission.

A total of $27.3 million was poured into slots or forked over at the gaming tables in the new Schenectady casino from Feb. 6 through Feb. 12.
Friday’s report from the gaming commission includes results from a Feb. 6 invite-only soft opening, the casino’s Feb. 8 grand opening, its first weekend and two significant snowstorms. The casino donated proceeds from the soft opening event to charity.
The resort’s 1,150 slot machines, or video lottery terminals, were the biggest draw, pulling in $23 million total and accounting for $2.3 million in pre-tax gaming revenue.
Customers spent $4.2 million at Rivers’ 67 table games, including blackjack, roulette and craps, resulting in $565,932 in revenue for the resort.
The casino takes a cut of the pot at its 15 poker tables, which in the first week contributed $111,492 in revenue, according to the gaming commission.

“We are pleased with the performance of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady,” said casino officials in a prepared statement. “Our guests and the community have been very enthusiastic. Our entire team looks forward to continually improving operations and providing a superior entertainment experience.”
The state taxes gaming revenue at a rate of 45 percent on slots and 10 percent on table games. The 45 percent tax rate on slots is the highest of any of the four new casinos in upstate New York.
Of that tax money, 80 percent is redistributed to public schools across New York, based on the state’s education formula.
Another 10 percent is split evenly between the city of Schenectady and Schenectady County, with each receiving 5 percent of the tax revenue.
The remaining 10 percent will be divided up among Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schoharie and Washington counties, based on population. For example, Albany will get the highest percentage, then Saratoga County, and so on.
Public reaction to the casino has been mostly positive, with large crowds frequenting the facility. Many have praised it as a more convenient option than Turning Stone Resort and Casino or the Saratoga racino.
Some have taken issue with inadequate staffing and long waits for table games or food. In addition, police have arrested six people at the casino since its opening.
By comparison, Rivers did about as well as the slightly larger del Lago Casino and Resort, which opened Feb. 1 in Seneca County.

The del Lago reported about $3.3 million in revenue from its opening week. That resort features 2,000 slot machines, 12 poker tables and nearly 80 table games.
Slot machines at the del Lago are only taxed at a 37 percent rate. Table games there are taxed at 10 percent, consistent with all commercial casinos in New York.

How Rivers Casino compares to other upstate casinos

Here’s a look at how its first week of business stacks up with opening week reports from two recently opened upstate casinos, according to gaming commission data.

  Rivers Casino Del Lago Casino Tioga Downs Casino
Location Schenectady Tyre Nichols
Opening date Feb. 8, 2017 Feb. 1, 2017 Dec. 2, 2016
Slot machines 1,150 2,001 461
Table games 67 77 23
Poker tables 15 12 12
Money spent on slots and table games $27.3 million $36.6 million $9.2 million
Gross gaming revenue $3 million $3.3 million $827,539.00

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