Commercial New York Casinos Report Lowest Revenue In 9 Months, Falling Behind 2022 Pace

Written By Grant Lucas on December 12, 2023
man at slot machine at resorts world catskills in new york

It’s been some time since land-based casinos in New York experienced such a down month.

But such is the case when the industry succeeds so much in a single year.

According to data from the New York State Gaming Commission, the four upstate commercial casinos combined for $54.1 million in total gross gaming revenue in November, the state’s worst month since February. And while it does represent an 8.3% year-over-year drop, it does stand as the third-best November in the state’s seven-year history.

Upstate NY casinos push tax revenue over $1 billion

It hasn’t been the best finish to a year in terms of revenue. November marks the fifth straight month NY casinos reported monthly revenue that was lower than the same month in 2022.

Keep in mind, however, that last year was a record-breaking one in the Empire State. More on that in a second.

In November, with $13.3 million reported, New York saw state tax revenue from retail casinos surpass $1 billion for its lifetime.

Outside of that, the month didn’t produce much celebration for the casino industry. Consider revenue from slots, which clocked in $36.99 million: New York casinos had not seen a total that low since February 2022.

The industry obviously looks to get out of this revenue nadir as quickly as possible. What would help, of course, is officials green-lighting the three downstate casinos in the New York City area. They have yet to officially set an application date as they are still reviewing the second round of questions.

Another big revenue-driver: the legalization of online casinos in NY. Optimism is high that the Empire State will finally do that in 2024. Sen. Joe Addabbo told PlayNY that he expects to introduce his draft by the end of the year.

How 2023 lines up with record-breaking 2022 pace

As mentioned, 2022 was one for the NY casino history books, as brick-and-mortars combined for $690.5 million in total GGR.

Through November of that year, the four upstate casinos sat at just under $634.1 million. In 2023, through the first 11 months, those properties generated $624.6 million.

To set the record, New York casinos would need to reported nearly $65.9 million in December. That would appear well out of reach.

After all, the best-ever month in New York was July 2021, which saw nearly $63 million. And the best December occurred last year, with $56.5 million.

All of that is to say: It would seem as if the annual NY casino revenue record will still stand with 2022.

Breaking down individual NY casinos

Individually, Rivers Casino in Schenectady topped the list in terms of total GGR with $16.8 million, marking the third straight month the property has done so.

Of note, Rivers reported just $11.6 million in revenue from slots, the casino’s lowest total since February 2022. It wasn’t all bad, however, as Rivers also enjoyed table revenue of $4.7 million for its highest since March and the second-best tables total since July 2017.

Next up, Resorts World Catskills totaled $15.7 million, its second-lowest monthly mark since April 2021.

Across the board, del Lago Casino, which reported $12.9 million in GGR, saw noteworthy occurrences – most of them perhaps not worth bragging about. Lowest total GGR since May, lowest slot revenue since February, lowest sports betting revenue since January. On the flip side, with $2.8 million, del Lago had its best table games revenue since July and its third-best total in 2023.

Last comes Tioga Downs, which rounds out the four casinos for the 32nd straight month. Tioga, which has the second-most table games in the industry but by far features the lowest slots and poker tables, finished November with $8.6 million in total revenue for its lowest mark since December 2022.

CasinoTotal GGRSlotsTable GamesPokerSports BettingTotal Tax
Rivers Schenectady$16,837,559$11,642,230$4,687,164$313,529$194,635$4,012,202
Resorts World Catskills$15,725,034$8,080,552$7,314,071$374,527($44,116)$3,188,614
Del Lago$12,899,990$9,838,023$2,775,339$203,844$82,784$3,257,604
Tioga Downs$8,640,453$7,429,841$1,013,864$41,988$154,760$2,870,102
Total$54,103,036$36,990,646$15,790,438$933,888$388,063$13,328,522
Photo by Seth Wenig / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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