del Lago Resort & Casino

del Lago Resort & Casino overview

When the del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York opened its doors on Feb. 1, 2017, it became the second commercial casino operation in the state.

New York legislators first decided to expand casino gambling outside of Native American land and racetracks in 2013. It granted licenses to three new developments a year later. The Tioga Downs Racino in Nichols, NY was granted a fourth license and became the first to open up in December 2016. Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, NY opened up a week after del Lago. The Montreign Resort and Casino has plans to begin operating in the Catskills in the spring of 2018.

Built in the Finger Lakes area, halfway between Syracuse and Rochester, del Lago Resort & Casino boasts a huge slate of slot machines and table games. This includes:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Craps
  • Video Poker
  • 24-hour-a-day live Poker Room

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New York’s newest and biggest casino

The 94,000 square-foot $440 million del Lago Resort & Casino is the biggest among the state’s four new commercial casino complexes to open so far. The casino floor includes more than 2,000 slot machines and close to 90 table games. The live poker room on site opened up in February 2017 with 12 tables.

However, del Lago is still smaller than the 125,000-square-foot  iTurning Stone Resort Casinon nearby Verona. Turning Stone is a Native American Casino that was New York State’s first casino property. It is owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, who vehemently opposed del Lago’s construction.

The Potential for Online Gambling

While New York lawmakers were considering online poker legislation in early 2018, similar legislation regarding online casino gaming was not on the agenda.

del Lago Resort & Casino partners include Peninsula Pacific, a Los Angeles based investment group, and Wilmorite Inc., a Rochester-based shopping mall, commercial and residential property developer. Both have interests in other out-of-state casino properties and an expressed interest in further gambling expansion inside New York.

Legislators in New York have long taken a step-by-step approach to gaming expansion. In fact, it started with the opening of the Turning Stone Resort Casino in 1993. The race track industry then successfully lobbied to bring slots to a number of its properties. Racinos are now all over the state and many host electronic table games as well.

Next was the approval of four commercial casinos in the state. Now, legislators are taking steps towards the introduction of legal and regulated online poker. Should the next step be legalized and regulated casino games, Peninsula Pacific and Wilmorite Inc. appear more likely to want to jump on board than provide opposition.

Wilmorite CEO Thomas C. Wilmot is said to have spent more than 25 years trying to bring a commercial casino to upstate New York. In the interim, Wilmot led the company into the development of a pair of Native American gaming properties in Oklahoma. He also stood toe to toe with anyone who opposed the del Lago Resort & Casino and came out ahead. With the brick and mortar casino now open, iGaming could be the next fight for Wilmot to get behind. Few would bet against him finding success there.

Online poker potential is strong

At the start of 2018, there were two bills in the Senate and Assembly respectively to legalize online poker. Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow claims he sees very little standing in the way of such legislation, He also says all of New York’s licensed casino and Racino properties are in full support of it.

This would presumably include del Lago Resort & Casino. In fact, it opened up a 12-table live Poker room on the property in February 2017. Partners Peninsula Pacific and Wilmorite Inc. have little in the way of experience in the online poker industry, However, they appear ready to jump on board. Particularly if the legislation allows existing brick and mortar casino properties the first crack at online poker operator licenses.

More casino amenities coming soon

del Lago Resort & Casino plans opened up a 205-room hotel and spa on the property in the summer of 2017.

Restaurants on the property include:

  • Portico, an Italian steakhouse created by celebrity chef Fabio Viviani
  • Farmers Market Buffet
  • Ciccino’s Pizzeri
  • Smashburger

The complex includes a performing arts and entertainment venue called The Vine with a 2,400-person capacity that is already hosting a-list entertainers from across the country.

Free rewards

del Lago Resort & Casino offers patrons free entry into its Players Club where players can earn points for gaming and other cash purchases.

Points can be redeemed for:

  • special hotel rates
  • restaurant discounts
  • other benefits

The club is multi-tiered giving players the opportunity to move up and earn free drinks while playing, valet services and access to exclusive drawings and offers.

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