SCHENECTADY — Justin Moore, acting general manager of Rivers Casino & Resort, got a very public pat on the back and a new title Tuesday morning.
Greg Carlin, CEO of parent corporation Rush Street Gaming, named Moore the new general manager during Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, crediting Moore with leading a team that has made the facility the top tourism draw in the Capital Region, by the calculations of the Albany Business Review.
A crowd already excited about the start of sports betting on-site gave a congratulatory whoop.
“It’s been a full team effort,” Moore told the crowd and told The Daily Gazette again later. Also, he noted, some of the fine-tuning, rethinking and adjustments that are inevitable after the opening of a brand-new $300 million facility with 1,000 employees were made by his two predecessors as general manager.
Money gambled at the casino has been growing slowly and steadily, as have the taxes it has paid.
Moore, 41 is a Utah native who grew up in Palm Springs, Calif. He has had only two employers in his career: Rivers (where he was vice president of operations, then assistant general manager, then acting general manager) and Station Casinos of Las Vegas, where he started as a food server and rose to an assistant general manager over the course of 17 years.
Station operates casinos in residential areas, not on the Las Vegas Strip, so it relies on repeat customers. Rivers follows the same model as a regional rather than destination casino, and it’s part of the reason Moore was recruited for management there.
Moore’s wife, Jennifer grew up in Pittsfield, Mass., and now has family in Clifton Park, which is part of the reason Moore accepted Rivers’ job offer.
Justin and Jennifer have an 8-year-old daughter together; each also has a teenage son from previous marriages. They live now in Clifton Park, where she is a full-time mother and part-time volunteer, most often at the Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville and Things of My Own in Schenectady.
Looking forward, Moore plans more steady, incremental adjustments and improvements, plus one bigger change: “We’d like to reshape the table games floor,” he said. “That’s the next thing we’re going to work on here.”
The pit is right in the middle, chewing up precious square footage, Moore explained. But for that very reason — limited space — the work has to be planned carefully. And gain regulatory approval. And be executed without disturbing the guests or blocking the surveillance cameras.
“It’s like a big puzzle,” Moore said.
But Rivers was able to accomplish essentially the same feat with its new Sportsbook, and he’s confident they’ll make the table game floor redesign work, as well.