Statewide Update Will Cause New York Racinos, VLTs To Remain Closed Until Midday On April 9

Written By David Danzis on April 8, 2024
Woman plays slots at Resorts World NYC for a story on Resorts World and Empire City Casino as well as other racinos closing Tuesday for system upgrades

New York casino and racino patrons planning an early morning trip to their nearest gambling parlor on Tuesday may want to wait until after lunch.

A statewide update to the system used by the video lottery terminals (VLTs) will take place on the morning of April 9. Based on their social media accounts, a handful of NY casino and racino operators expect the work to be completed by midday.

What New York casinos will be affected by system update?

A New York State Gaming Commission representative said the system update was required and scheduled in advance.

The server update will impact NY casinos and racinos, such as Jake’s 58, Resorts World NYC and MGM Empire City. All three properties say they are opening at noon on April 9.

Other NY casino/racino properties affected by the update include:

  • Saratoga Casino Hotel
  • Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack
  • Hamburg Gaming at the Fairgrounds
  • Vernon Downs
  • Bativia Downs

New York VLTs look, sound and operate like Las Vegas or Atlantic City-style slot machines, but they are not. VLTs in the Empire State are linked to a centralized system maintained by the NYSGC. Vegas and AC casino slots are controlled by independent random number generators.

Through the first two months of 2024, VLT facilities in NY have generated more than $379.5 million. Operators have kept more than $173.6 million of that total.

According to NYSGC data, more than NY VLT facilities have contributed more than $187.8 million to the State Education Fund in 2024.

Update yet another aspect of state regulators modernizing casino gambling

New York gaming regulators are currently in the process of awarding three class III casino licenses to applicants in the downstate NY area, which includes the five New York City boroughs, Long Island and the counties of Westchester, Putnam and Rockland.

Class III license holders can offer live dealer table games and individual RNG slot machines. NY classifies class III licensees as commercial casinos. However, during a recent hearing, the NYSGC indicated that it may not award those licenses until late 2025.

Resorts World NYC at Aqueduct Raceway in Queens and MGM Empire City in Yonkers are generally considered frontrunners for two of the available class III downstate casino licenses. The thinking is that converting those facilities into integrated gaming resorts would require significantly less time and financial resources.

Class III license holders would likely get preferential consideration if (when) state officials legalize NY online casinos.

Photo by Kathy Kmonicek / AP Photo
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David Danzis

David Danzis is a writer for PlayNY. A New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University, he served as a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, earning statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports and business. Today, he contributes to New York's growing legal gambling landscape, including online sports betting and potential legalization of NY online casinos. David lives in Mays Landing with his wife and two children. When not on the beach, a golf course, or snowboarding, David enjoys watching his beloved New York sports teams — Yankees, Jets, Rangers and Knicks.

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