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Rivers Casino counted more than 1.5 million guests in year one

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Rivers Casino counted more than 1.5 million guests in year one

It releases yearlong statistics as first anniversary approaches
Rivers Casino counted more than 1.5 million guests in year one
Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

SCHENECTADY — Rivers Casino & Resort said on Monday that it hosted 350 events on site, handed its guests more than 11,000 jackpots, and paid its employees more than $43 million in its first year.

The casino offered the statistics three days before the start of a multi-day celebration of the anniversary of its grand opening.

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Among other key details:

  • Those 11,000-plus jackpots totaled more than $26 million.
  • The facility maintained a workforce of more than 1,100 employees.
  • Those employees donated hundreds of hours of service to the community.
  • More than 1.5 million patrons entered the casino.
  • It has paid more than $53 million in taxes.

A 2014 consultant’s report prepared in support of the casino's license application projected 2.5 million to 3 million patron visits per year. That would come once the casino achieved “stabilized operations,” the report stipulated, presumably not in its first year.

The casino surpassed one other projection in that report and missed another:

It projected roughly $40 million in base pay, plus $10 million in tips; the $43 million was base pay only, so Rivers exceeded that projection.

Finally, the same report projected first-year payments of $66.4 million to $81.3 million in state gaming taxes. Rivers fell well short of that, paying $41.6 million in 11 months. But it also generates sales tax and hotel occupancy tax revenue, neither of which the state or county will quantify, out of consideration for the business strategies of those collecting. Starting this year, Rivers will pay more than $3.5 million in property taxes, as well.

Rivers, which is owned by Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, is getting ready to fete its first birthday, which officially falls on Thursday.

“I am incredibly thankful to our guests, our many community partners and our dedicated team members as we mark this important milestone,” Rivers Casino & Resort General Manager Rob Long said. “Rivers’ first year has been simply tremendous, and we look forward to the years to come.”

The roughly $300 million project took shape through 2016 and the first part of 2017 on the long-dormant site of the former Alco factory. The casino opened its doors Feb. 8 and opened The Landing Hotel on July 19.

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