NY Ready for Casino Expansion to Continue in the New Year

by Kyle Miller

New York CityWith Las Vegas style gaming commercial casinos coming to New York, and one venue already launched, the state prepares for their casino gaming expansion to continue.

New York State has offered casino gaming for some time but only at tribal-run facilities. A new era is coming to the state after the first commercial casino opened its doors just a short time ago and three more venues will be opening soon after. The Tioga Downs Casino became the first Las Vegas style casino to open in the state and marked the beginning of a new wave of gaming to come to the state.

While the first casino has been in operation for a short time, it is still too early to see how successful the venue will be. The hope is that when the four commercial resorts are in operation in the Upstate New York area, there will be many benefits seen within the state. If the endeavors are successful, lawmakers may choose to expand even further, possibly entering the online gambling industry.

How It Came to Pass

Back in 2013, voters in the state decided to approve a referendum for the construction of as many as four full-scale casinos on land located in the northern region of the state. In 2014, three facilities had been recommended for licensing by a new group known as the Gaming Facility Location Board. However, developers put pressure on for a fourth venue which was approved last year.

The Tioga Downs was the last venue to earn approval but the first to offer gaming. The Tioga Downs Casino is an expanded version of the Tioga Downs Racetrack. The venue had offered only horse racing and slot machines in the past but after the upgrade was completed, the facility provides full scale gaming with the addition of table games.

The remaining three venues will be the del Lago Resort & Casino, the Rivers Casino & Resort as well as the Montreign Resort Casino at Adellar. Each of these venues should open sometime in 2017. Once completed and in operation, the state will have four fully-functioning commercial casinos.

What Will the Expansion Provide?

As the discussions as well as beginning of the expansion took place, there were opponents as well as proponents for the option. Proponents feel that the casinos will bring about additional tax revenues for the municipalities that host the venues as well as for the state. Employment rates will improve along with tourist numbers.

Opponents feel that the venues will be too many for the area and will harm smaller gambling as well as non-gambling businesses. Those opposed also feel that competition from neighboring states will cut into the potential for profits of the venues as individuals may visit other venues.

Overall, it will take some time before the full impact, either positive or negative will be seen from the gaming venues.

Online Gambling

In today’s gambling industry, once land based gaming venues are on the table, online gambling is put in the mix. With so many states considering the option, it is only natural for New York to be involved as well. If the land based venues do well, legislators may be more open to considering online gaming. Most states want to function as New Jersey does and use land based venues connected to online operators to offer online casino and poker gaming sites. With new venues in place, New York would be set up to offer such gaming with only the need for legislation as well as regulations.

It will be interesting to watch as New York expands their gaming options via new venues and if the possibility for online gambling will arise in the New Year.