While Revenue Rebounded Nicely In March, New York Commercial Casinos Still Looking Up At Pre-COVID Levels

Written By Martin Harris on April 16, 2021

March comes in like a lion, or the saying goes. For New York‘s commercial casinos, March may not have been a roaring month, revenue-wise.

But it was nonetheless an improvement over a less-than-stellar February.

Collectively, the four casinos collected just over $45.9 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) last month. That’s significantly up from the $34.2 million reported in February, or about a 34% increase.

It’s also the highest total since casinos reopened in Sept. 2020, although still shy of pre-pandemic heights.

Detailed look at March 2021 casino revenue reports

As has been the case each of the last several months, the report from New York State Gaming Commission once again shows Rivers Casino in Schenectady and Resorts World Catskills in a neck-and-neck battle for highest GGR.

CasinoMarch 2021 GGR
Rivers Casino$13,889,187
Resorts World Catskills$13,781,110
del lago Casino$10,676,014
Tioga Downs Casino$7,584,467

Each of the four properties enjoyed month-over-month spikes of at least 30%.

As usual, slots produced the highest percentage of revenue for all properties. Slots accounted for about $35.6 million, or more than 77%, of the total GGR.

Table games brought in about $8.5 million among the four casinos, about 18% of the total GGR. Poker rooms remain closed in all four casinos.

What about NY sports betting?

After a Febrary dip, sports betting in New York somewhat bounced back in March, likely due in part to the first weeks of March Madness.

The four casinos’ sportsbooks enjoyed $1.85 million in revenue, up from the $1.15 million the previous month, though a far cry from the all-time high of $3.57 million in January.

The BetRivers Sportsbook in Schenectady once again led the way, and along with the DraftKings Sportsbook at del Lago claimed over 82% of the sports betting revenue among the four casinos.

The March 2021 sports betting revenue totals were as follows:

SportsbookCasinoMarch 2021 GGR
BetRivers SportsbookRivers Casino$821,649
DraftKings Sportsbookdel lago Casino$697,149
Sportsbook 360Resorts World Catskills$204,010
FanDuel SportsbookTioga Downs$122,877
  • BetRivers Sportsbook (Rivers Casino): $821,649
  • DraftKings Sportsbook (del Lago Resort): $697,149
  • Sportsbook 360 (Resorts World Catskills): $204,010
  • FanDuel Sportsbook (Tioga Downs): $122,877

Revenue edging upward toward pre-pandemic totals

As noted, the overall GGR for March was the highest for the state’s four non-tribal commercial casinos since they reopened last fall folowing a six-month closure.

The year-over-year comparison with the $24.2 million total from March 2020 is misleading, since casinos were all closed for the second half of the month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From March 2019 to February 2020, the four casinos averaged about $53.2 million GGR each month. That will be a milestone the casinos hope to equal or exceed in the coming months as increasing numbers of New Yorkers receive vaccinations.

Another factor likely to produce a positive effect going forward will be the lifting of the 11 p.m. curfew for the casinos. Starting April 6, all properties were allowed once again to operate 24 hours a day, if desired.

The 25% capacity limit for commercial casinos, however, will remain in effect.

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