New York Upstate Casinos Start Summer With $37.4 Million In Revenue

Posted on July 13, 2019 - Last Updated on August 15, 2019

June of 2019 was a solid month for the Empire State’s four upstate gaming facilities. The month’s New York commercial casino revenue is good news.

Tioga Downs, del Lago, Rivers Casino and Resorts World Catskills all posted net revenues totaling at least $4.5 million for the month.

New York commercial casino revenue in total

Net revenue from all four NY casinos totaled $37.4 million in June. The four casinos didn’t share in that equally, however.

  • Resorts World Catskills accounted for the biggest chunk at 39.8%, bringing in $14.9 million.
  • Tioga Downs was on the bottom of that scale with $4.7 million, or 12.6% of the market.
  • Del Lago brought in $8.8 million to contribute 23.5% of the total.
  • The other 24.1% came from Rivers, which reported $9 million for June.

Resorts World Catskills reported the largest net revenue partially because it paid the smallest percentage in taxes.

Local and state taxes paid by casinos in June 2019

Of the $20.4 million in gross gaming receipts Resorts World Catskills took in during June, $5.5 million went to local counties and the state of New York. That represents nearly 27% of the gross gaming receipts total.

Other facilities paid higher percentages. Rivers led that category, paying over 35% ($4.9 million) of its gross gaming receipts ($13.9 million) in taxes. del Lago paid out 31% ($4 million of $12.8 million) while Tioga Downs shelled out 33% ($2.3 million of $7 million).

Taxes paid by the four casinos were distributed the same despite the disparity in amounts paid. The state’s education and property tax relief funds received 80%. The host counties and municipalities for each casino split another 10%.

The final 10% was split between non-host counties in the region. In total, $16.7 million in gaming taxes went to cities, counties and the state in June.

That tax figure could be about to increase along with revenues as New York sports betting has started.

Legal sports betting lands at NY casinos

Legal sports betting in New York will begin soon. That could drastically change the revenue reports from these four casinos.

Facilities like the four upstate commercial casinos have a near-monopoly on legal sports betting. Though some legislatures tried to change the law to let online-only operators and off-track betting sites participate, that measure failed.

That failure left the 2013 law in place. It also means New York residents and visitors who wish to legally bet on sports have to do so in-person at one of these four facilities. (It appears that tribal casinos upstate will also have sportsbooks.)

How much of an increase in revenue and therefore taxes legal sports betting will produce will be seen in future revenue reports. There are reservations about its potential because of the lack of an online element and the fact that casinos in New Jersey are closer to many New York residents.

Gaming revenue and taxes for June 2019 in New York made a good showing. With the introduction of legal sports betting, July and future months could be even better.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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