The biggest casino in upstate New York is officially getting new owners. Empire Resorts, which runs Resorts World Catskills, has confirmed that the casino is being taken over by investors who hold a majority of the company’s stock. It’s an interesting development for New York, which is in the middle of revamping its gambling industry.
Many gambling analysts predicted that Resorts World Catskills would be sold. Today, we’re looking at what’s happening in New York’s casino scene, and what this sale means for the casino moving forward. Let’s get into it!
New York’s New Gambling Laws, Explained
For many years, New York had very restrictive laws on the gambling industry. Casino gambling was banned here until 1988 when the government passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Lawmakers in New York began allowing Native American Tribes to operate casinos in the state, most of which opened in the Upstate New York area.
In 2013, New York passed the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act. This allowed for commercial casinos, or casinos not operated by tribes, to open in the state. Four of these casinos are now operating here, including the Resorts World Catskills.
New York has been against the sports betting industry for years. Governor Anthony Cuomo even worked to ban daily fantasy sports, which are considered a game of skill in most parts of the country. Recently, however, sports gambling in New York was legalized.
Efforts to make sports betting legal in New York have been going on since PASPA was struck down in May of 2018. In June of this year, lawmakers agreed to a set of new regulations that allow sports betting to take place inside casinos. Several New York casinos now offer sports betting and several more are set to open sportsbooks over the next few months.
Unfortunately, several major casinos in this state have struggled to generate revenue this year. The biggest casino in Upstate New York is now changing hands.
Resorts World Catskills is Officially Changing Hands
Casino competition in the Upstate New York area is fierce. Just about all of the state’s casinos are located here, some of which are proving to be more successful than others. The largest one has faced continual losses over the past several years and is now officially being taken over.
Resorts World Catskills was operated by Empire Resorts, one of the top casino operators in the New York area. This publicly-traded company lost $73 million in the first six months of 2019. It has also accumulated more than $400 in total debt. As a result, it’s selling some of its largest properties.
Investors from Malaysia currently own 86% of Empire Resorts. On Monday, officials at Empire Resorts announced it was selling the rest of its stock to the investors for $9.74 per share. The official sale will finalize at the end of the year’s fourth quarter, after which Empire Resorts will become a privately owned company.
The Catskills casino failed to meet all revenue projections after its opening in 2018. Let’s look at what this all means for the future of the casino.
Future of Catskills Casino and New York’s Gaming Industry
The sale of the casino in Catskills isn’t the only major casino handover taking place in New York. Last week, Del Lago announced that 50% of its casino was being sold to investors in California. The Del Lago casino has also failed to meet revenue projections set by the state when it opened.
It’s unclear exactly what will happen with Resorts World Catskills. This casino is now changing hands. Hopefully, they work to revamp the gaming establishment and increase its revenue earnings. Most agree that sports betting can help bring more money to these New York gaming venues.
Sports betting has proved extremely profitable for many states. New Jersey is earning millions of dollars each month through this industry. There’s also a chance that lawmakers in New York decide to regulate internet casino gambling.
There are several great online casinos in New York. Most of them offer a huge range of great gaming options. Unfortunately, the state works hard to push these casino websites away. Regulation of this industry will likely help the land-based casinos bring in more money.
Make sure to stay tuned for more updates over the next few weeks. We’ll continue to provide information on the state of New York’s casino industry!