Having opened in February 2017, the Rivers Casino & Resort is still considered a relatively new casino to the state of New York. Since opening, the venue has done quite well, especially when looking at slot gaming revenues. The most recent reports are in and the gaming venue was able to see $126 million wagered last month at the venue. This is a huge increase when considering the monthly average for last year as well as this year.
Gross Gaming Revenues
The New York Gaming Commission compiles reports of the non-Indian casinos in the state with the information made public based on monthly data releases. The April to March fiscal year of the state report was just released with the venue able to provide data for a second full fiscal year.
The gross gaming revenues for the venue were up by 11.5% with $157.1 million generated in 2018-2019. The total for the 2017-2018 fiscal year came in at $140.9 million. Of the amount earned this year, the casino paid $53.3 million in gaming taxes. This is an increased amount of just over 16% when comparing the last fiscal year.
It’s quite interesting to look at the breakdown of data for the Rivers Casino in 2018-2019. Schenectady is the host city and county of the casino, with both municipalities earning $2.68 million in taxes from the gaming revenues. This was a bit more than the $2.3 million from the previous fiscal year.
Gamblers hit the 1,150 slot machines of the venue hard, spending $1.24 billion with $1.12 billion in winnings earned. The month of March was the best one for the casino, with $15.97 million in gross gaming revenues. Interestingly enough, March was also the best year for the casino in the previous fiscal year.
Seeking Lower Tax Rate
The casino is trying to see the current tax rate they pay on gross gaming revenues reduced. They want to see the slot tax lowered. They pay 45% more than other casinos in New York as well as a competitor of Massachusetts, the MGM Springfield.
The company stated via email that they have seen gaming revenues grow recently, but expenses have grown as well. The casino operates in a highly competitive region and one that is continuing to expand on a regional basis. They pay 49% in slot taxes and other payments, which is making it difficult for the venue to compete.
Rivers Casino pointed out that other regional casinos have a competitive advantage as they can draw from the market of the venue. This then reduces the amount of revenues the casino can provide for education funding, community support and more.
It will be interesting to see if the casino will have their voice heard and a change made to the overall slot tax rate. Chances are the rate will stay the same unless the Rivers Casino can convince lawmakers that a reduction might result in more funds for the state in the long run.