Construction On Schedule For New York Commercial Casinos

Written By Brian Pempus on October 7, 2016 - Last Updated on November 29, 2022
Hard hat on construction fence

[toc]A New York State Gaming Commission hearing late last month provided an update on the status of the state’s four Las Vegas-style commercial casinos.

All are still under construction.

The progress is significant for the state’s online poker prospects.

The New York Gaming Association said at an online poker hearing in September 2015 that the state might want to wait until the new casinos are open before legalizing online casino gaming.

How the NY casinos are coming along

There haven’t been any major setbacks for the casinos, unlike what operators have experienced in nearby Massachusetts. Here’s a look at the progress in New York:

Del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County

The casino is nearly 80 percent complete.

It is on track to open in February 2017. The project’s initial stage of construction includes the casino, event center, parking garage and the hotel shell.

The hotel is a month ahead of schedule and should open in summer 2017.

The $425 million investment will include 1,950 slot machines, 84 table games, a 205-room hotel and a 10,000-square-foot spa.

Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady County

The project is on schedule, with about half the work finished so far.

This casino is also coming in two phases, with the first stage including the casino, event center and parking garage. The hotel is phase two.

More than 220,000 construction hours have gone into the project so far.

The $320 million investment will include a 51,000-square-foot gaming floor, 1,150 slot machines, 77 table games and a 150-room hotel.

Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County

The Montreign project is further behind than the aforementioned two, with overall project completion at 27 percent. Construction ramped up in August with nearly 31,000 construction hours on the site.

The $1.25 billion casino is the only of the four that hasn’t finalized financing, according to the state.

The casino is likely “awaiting the results of the New Jersey referendum to finalize their financing,” Commission Executive Director Robert Williams said at the hearing. Voters in the Garden State will decide next month whether or not to allow New Jersey casino gambling to be expanded beyond Atlantic City.

The property will be an 18-story casino, hotel and entertainment complex equipped with 2,150 slot machines, 102 table games and 332 hotel rooms.

Tioga Downs in Tioga County

Casino expansion, which is phase one of the Tioga Downs project, is 90 percent finished. The new hotel and amenities building (phase two) are five-percent complete.

The racetrack’s project is on schedule and under budget, the state said.

Total investment is $122.6 million. The expanded property will include a 32,590-square-foot casino with 1,000 slot machines and 50 gaming tables.

There will be 161 hotel rooms.

Tioga Downs, which has more than 250 gambling machines already, received a commercial gaming license in August.

$1.4 billion invested into New York properties

More than $1.4 billion in private money is being invested into Empire State commercial casinos. That’s the same investment as the new MGM casino in Maryland.

New York said that the casinos will create more than 4,700 permanent jobs, with the following breakdown:

  • Schenectady County: 1,300
  • Seneca County: 1,250
  • Tioga County: 1,100
  • Sullivan County: 1,050

How did New York get commercial casinos?

Three years ago, New York voters approved Proposal One on the November ballot. The proposal authorized lawmakers to allow up to seven “destination gaming resorts.”

The idea was to generate economic activity for upstate communities. More than 50 million people visit New York City each year, and the state’s hope is that some will visit upstate attractions.

New York estimated that its residents spend $1 billion each year at out-of-state casinos, a lot of which goes to Atlantic City.

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Brian Pempus

Having worked in the online gambling industry since 2009, Brian Pempus contributes to a variety of publications focused on the legal US online casino and poker industries. Brian is a graduate of Penn State and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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