Over the past couple of years, New York lawmakers have worked hard to expand their casino industry. Unfortunately, revenue from Upstate NY casinos failed to increase for months. New reports indicate that in 2019, things began to turn around for casinos in the Upstate area.
Lawmakers in this state are looking to earn more money from the gambling industry. More gaming options may soon become available here. Today, we’re going to look at how the Upstate casinos performed in 2019.
New York’s Expanded Casino Laws, Explained
For decades, New York was considered a very anti-gambling state. Lawmakers here implemented a blanket ban on casinos back in the late 1800s. Despite laws against it, many small, illegal gambling venues continued to operate in the state.
Eventually, state officials began allowing horse race wagering. In the 1950s, lawmakers decided to legalize bingo and five years later, opened a state lottery. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that officials began looking at the possibility of legalizing casino gambling.
In 1989, the Supreme Court passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This set of laws made it legal for Native American tribes to operate casinos on sovereign land. Not long after this bill was approved, New York began allowing the state’s tribes to run gambling venues.
In 2013, lawmakers completely changed their stance and decided to officially legalize commercial casinos. Since that time, several of these gambling venues have opened up, most of which are in the Upstate area. Unfortunately, revenue from Upstate NY casinos hasn’t been quite as high as many initially predicted.
There are several reasons why this is. Most cite the competition as the primary reason why these casinos have struggled to make money. According to new reports, things are beginning to improve.
Revenue From Upstate NY Casinos is Going Up
It hasn’t been an easy road for casinos in New York. As we just mentioned, almost all of these are located in the Upstate area. Many are within close proximity to each other. Competition is extremely high here and just about every single casino has struggled to bring in players.
It seems things are improving, though. The four casinos in Upstate New York are beginning to see an increase in gaming revenue. Each one saw its revenue increase last year.
Resorts World Catskills, one of the largest casinos here, saw a massive 48% jump in revenue. In total, revenue at Upstate NY casinos increased by 18% last year. That’s fantastic news for the state, as lottery sales dropped by more than 35%.
Bob DeSalvio, president of Genting New York State, says he’s not surprised to see things start to get better.
“If you look at the history of regional gaming properties over their lifetime, it’s about two years for them to really click in,” he said. “A 24-month ramp up period is not unexpected in today’s environment.”
There has been fear that the state’s casino industry might fail. Lawmakers have discussed new ways to help these gambling venues generate more money. Things are beginning to improve, and new sports betting options may help make things even better.
New Sports Betting Options Might Be Coming to New York
In May of 2018, the Supreme Court officially struck down PASPA. This decision immediately gave every state in the country the ability to legalize sports betting. Today, more than 20 states have decided to legalize this form of wagering.
New York began working to legalize sports betting in early 2019. On July 16th of that year, the first sports wager was placed here inside the Rivers Casino in Schenectady. As of now, only land-based sports betting is available in the state.
This could change soon, though. For months, lawmakers in New York have discussed legalizing online sports betting. Many feel this will help to increase revenue from NY casinos.
This is currently being decided in the courts. Officials argue that allowing online sports betting will help to bring the state more revenue and make things more competitive with New Jersey, which allows sports wagering to be made over the internet. It’s still unclear whether or not the courts will agree with this assessment.
Revenue at Upstate NY casinos is beginning to increase. State officials hope that this trend continues. We’ll need to wait and see whether or not these officials can succeed in allowing online sports wagering.
Stay tuned for more updates over the next few months!