It’s True: New Yorkers Love Their Commercial Casino Gambling, Including Live Poker

March 22, 2017
It’s True: New Yorkers Love Their Commercial Casino Gambling, Including Live Poker

New York residents and tourists have a strong appetite for commercial casino gambling and poker. Or at least that’s what recent revenue statistics posted by the New York Gaming Commission point to.

In February, the now three-month-old commercial gaming industry generated $30.4 million, and is currently on pace to topple that figure for March.

Quite impressive for a market that currently consists of just three modestly sized and somewhat out of the way casinos: Tioga Downs, del Lago and Rivers.

More impressive still: Live poker accounted for over $858,000 of industry revenue, despite no single casino supporting more than 15 tables.

Top-line revenue by NY casino

Tioga Downs

The industry’s smallest casino raked in $5,945,478 in February, representing a 5.1 percent month-over-month uptick. After accounting for January’s three extra days, that growth margin swells to 16.3 percent.

At just 894 slot terminals, 23 table games, and 12 poker tables, Tioga Downs is roughly the same size as Category III casinos in Pennsylvania.

Compared to them, the part horse-racing facility, part casino fared admirably, more than doubling the revenue produced by Lady Luck Nemacolin, and coming up less than $1 million short of Valley Forge‘s take.

Tioga Downs didn’t slack next to its neighbors in NY either, accounting for a 19.6 percent market share of the state’s commercial casino industry.

del Lago

The del Lago Resort and Casino is considerably bigger than Tioga Downs, and its February revenue reflected that.

The casino, which held its official grand opening on Feb. 1, generated a cool $13,600,019 in its first month on the scene, working out to a daily average of $485,715. The Waterloo-based casino currently boasts 2,001 slot terminals, 77 table games and 12 poker tables.

What’s truly impressive, is that del Lago didn’t generate much less revenue than Resorts and Bally’s in Atlantic City, and Mount Airy Casino in Pennsylvania, despite being located in a village with a population of just over 5,000.

The novelty of the nascent casino appears not to have warn off yet either, as del Lago is currently on pace to crack $13 million in gross gaming revenue again in March.

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Rivers Casino may not be the largest NY commercial casino, but it does appear to be the one with the biggest upside.

First off, it’s within a stone’s throw of Albany, a population center of nearly 100,000. The town in which it resides, Schenectady, is also fairly well populated, at over 66,000 residents.

Rivers also brings brand recognition to the table, as it’s operated by Rush Street Gaming — the same operator in charge of Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino in Pennsylvania, and Rivers Casino in Illinois.

The latest casino to the party generated $10,805,499 in revenue last month. But that figure doesn’t tell the whole story, as the $330 million property has only been in operation since Feb. 9. Stretched out over 28 days, its revenue comes in at more than $15.1 million.

Granted, it doesn’t appear that Rivers will hit the $15 million mark in March, but $13 million isn’t out of the question — putting it on par with the significantly larger del Lago.

Rivers currently supports 1,150 slots, 67 table games, and 15 poker tables.

Poker margins impress

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the revenue report was the performance of poker. By casino, live poker generated the following:

  • Tioga Downs: $117,129
  • del Lago: $263,435
  • Rivers: $478,349 (partial month)

On a per table basis, live poker generated more revenue in NY than it either PA or NJ, as indicated by the following chart:

This statistic bodes remarkably well for a prospective NY online poker industry. New York is strongly considering passing legislation that would legalize the activity this session.

Although it doesn’t look like online poker will be included in the state budget, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has affirmed that he’s willing to fight for iPoker, and that we could see movement by June.

New York would undoubtedly boast the largest online poker market of any state that either currently supports regulated online gambling, or is considering enacting legislation this year.

The recent revenue statistics from live poker rooms at NY commercial casinos only reinforce this notion.

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