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Del Lago Casino Making Waterloo A Destination For Tourists

Waterloo, NY is not exactly a tourist a town. However, the recent opening of the del Lago Casino in the upstate New York town helped give a nice boost to the area’s tourism economy.

According to a recent report from the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, 23 percent of visitors to the area this year came to visit the new casino resort.

Survey says New Yorkers are coming to Seneca to see del Lago

The Chamber of Commerce survey explored where the tourist population is coming from in addition to why they are visiting. Over 70 percent of the visitors are from within the state. New Yorkers are trekking upstate for vacation. Moreover, it appears roughly one in four of them are doing so to check out del Lago.

The new casino opened in February. It is one of four new casino resorts opening in the state as part of a New York casino expansion measure. The del Lago joins Tioga Downs and Rivers Casino Resort in Schenectady. The fourth property, Montreign Casino, is set to open in the Catskills later this year.

When Chamber of Commerce representative Rick Newman presented the survey findings to the county’s Board of Supervisors, he pointed out the area is one of only six counties in the state which have seen visitor spending grow every year since 2012.

Casino averages around $3 million a week in gambling revenue

The New York Gaming Commission says del Lago averages a gambling take of around $3 million a week since opening at the beginning of February. The del Lago casino is running slightly behind competitor Rivers Casino and Resort. Rivers averages just over $3 million each week, while del Lago comes in at just under.

These numbers should be read with a note of caution though. The average is based on strong grand opening performances from both properties. Rivers had a big spike at the end of March, but save for that outlier, the numbers are normalizing just under $3 million.

Del Lago peaked at $3.7 million the week of February 26, then trended downward for several weeks. The property hit its all-time weekly low of $2.4 million during the first week of April. The numbers are ticking upwards now that summer is approaching.

Will tourism see a similar drop off in numbers?

If the casino sees numbers dropping off after opening day intrigue wears off, could that mean tourism sees a similar drop in casino visitors? It certainly seems possible.

Looking at the continued growth of tourism in Seneca County though, it seems visitors will continue to flock upstate. The increased number of hotel rooms connected to the casino will help contribute to accommodating visitors wishing to stay overnight.

Moreover, new legislation in the area will address transportation issues by bringing ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft to the area.

Jessica Welman

About

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the Managing Editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.