It was a good July to be a casino in New York. All four of the Empire State‘s commercial casinos improved their numbers from June and year-over-year. Two of them have New York sports betting to thank for that – at least partially.
The numbers at all four NY casinos bucked the trend of summer as a slow time for gambling. Specifically, we’re looking at:
And Rivers and Tioga Downs capitalized on casinos’ monopoly on sports betting in New York to that end.
July New York casino revenue by the numbers
Combined net revenue from all four casinos totaled $39.3 million. That’s an increase of 5.1% from June. The most significant growth month-to-month took place at the two casinos that have yet to open their sportsbooks, however.
Resorts World Catskills had its best month of the year in terms of net revenue in July. The same can’t be said of del Lago, as March is still its best month of the year, but July was a little more than $60,000 off that mark.
July net revenue, which is gross gaming receipts minus payouts, at each of the four casinos was:
- del Lago – $10.2 million
- Resorts World Catskills – $15.3 million
- Rivers – $9.2 million
- Tioga Downs – $4.7 million
March also still ranks as the best month of the year at Rivers and Tioga Downs, even though both of those casinos started accepting sports wagers right away.
Sports betting revenue early returns look promising
Rivers pounced on sports betting, becoming the site of the first legal sports wager in NY on July 16. Being first to market had its benefits.
Over the final two weeks of the month, Rivers took in over $294,000 on sports bets. The FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs opened three days later, and the take wasn’t as great.
Tioga Downs reported over $55,000 in sports betting revenue for the final 12 days of July. When taken in context, the disparity between it and Rivers doesn’t look as big.
Rivers’ $294,000 in sports bets represented just 3.2% of its July revenue. While that’s 2% more than the percentage of revenue Tioga Downs got from sports betting in the month, it’s not like Rivers got a massive boost from that action.
It will be interesting to see what the August numbers look like with the first full month of sports wagering in the books. That’s especially true given that August is the beginning of football season when sports betting booms in the US.
Given the fact that the two books took in over $300,000 in about half a month, the rest of the year could give Rivers and Tioga Downs a good return on their sportsbook investments.
The big winner from a robust July was the state, however. That could only expand given the potential for the sportsbooks.
Gaming tax revenue up, but it could be much better
The four casinos paid a total of $16.8 million in gaming taxes for the month, which was up considerably over July of last year.
When sports betting is in full swing as del Lago and Resorts World Catskills open their books, that revenue for the state should grow. There is yet potential for more, however.
Tribal casinos are just beginning to launch their own books. The best potential source for revenue, however, could come from online sports betting.
It’s unclear how soon if ever that could become a reality in NY. Many parties, like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, believe a constitutional amendment would be necessary, which could cause a delay of years.
No matter how it would get done, legalizing online sports betting would eliminate the need for New York City residents to cross the border into New Jersey to place their mobile bets. That would keep those tax dollars in the state.
Sports betting’s first two weeks in NY were a small win for the state’s casinos, with potential for more on the horizon. How much more is partially up to the state Legislature and the people of New York.