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Sports betting revenue at Rivers Casino in Schenectady dips following strong start

Sports betting revenue at Rivers Casino in Schenectady dips following strong start

But gross revenue has remained generally constant
Sports betting revenue at Rivers Casino in Schenectady dips following strong start
Sports betting in New York began last month with the first of four upstate casinos official approval from the state.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Gazette Photographer

SCHENECTADY — Just four weeks after opening with a splash, sports betting revenues have sharply declined.

Sports wagering at Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady generated $168,743 in revenue for the week ending July 21.

The revenue decreased to $91,591 by the following week, and bottomed out at $25,386 by Aug. 4 before swinging up to $74,298 for the week ending Aug. 11, the most recent date for which data is available. 

But at the same time, total gross revenue has remained relatively constant, from $3.41 million to $3.48 million during the same four-week time period.

"No surprise at all," said a Rivers spokesman, who called the casino's new sports betting lounge a "great new amenity."

"We’re very happy to be able to offer our guests the ability to place legal sports wagers," said the spokesman. "Even with no real major sporting events, we are seeing new guests visit the property each day."

Revenues from sports wagering have also been mercurial at Tioga Downs Casino Resort in the Southern Tier.

Sports betting generated $13,632 during its debut week, a number that increased to $41,188 the following week before dropping to $7,750. Revenues for the week ending Aug. 11 have rebounded to $11,271.

The state budget projected $4 million in revenue from sports gambling for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Sports betting is also legal at two Oneida Indian Nation-owned casinos in central New York: Turning Stone and Point Place, both of which went live with the service Aug. 1.

Scores of dignitaries and state lawmakers flocked to Rivers Casino & Resort’s sports betting parlor, a 5,000-square-foot lounge dubbed Sportsbook, in mid-July to place the first legal sports bet in the state. 

Advocates believe legalization will reduce the amount of money New Yorkers spend on placing illegal bets or in other states where it’s legal, including New Jersey. 

Casino officials pointed at the upcoming NFL season, which kicks off in early September, as fertile ground for a rebound. 

"With the NFL season opener just around the corner, there will be even greater interest and action at the Rivers Sportsbook and we look forward to making sure they have the best guest experience possible," said the Rivers spokesman.

Online and mobile betting remains illegal in the state, as does wagering on New York’s college sports teams.

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