The presence of casinos in certain areas help boost the overall economic activity in the region, or at least this is what is suggested by the recently announced report that Del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, N.Y., generated $270 million for the Finger Lakes region.
Millions Of Revenues And Hundreds Of Local Jobs
The report on the economic and fiscal impact of the casino conducted by Camoin Associates, a company based in Saratoga Springs and contracted as a third party by Del Lago, has come up with the findings that in 2019 Del Lago casino generated $157 million in gaming revenue and $113 million in non-gaming sales and revenue, and boosted the Finger Lakes region employment by opening up of almost 1,700 jobs, and for Seneca County, the presence of the casino results in nearly $238 million of new sales of goods and services, the creation of 1,560 jobs and new earnings exceeding $58 million.
As for the rest of the state, the casino pushed overall sales numbers up by more than $32 million, adding 193 new jobs and raising total state earnings by $9.7 million.
The structure of the work force in the casino shows the casino management preference for employees coming from across the region, with more than one-third of the total 1,178 workers, 409, residing in Seneca County, 200 casino employees from the other coming from neighbouring counties, belonging to Cayuga County, obviously showing the preference of the casino management to employ locally.
The Del Lago Resort & Casino opened doors in 2017 and had somewhat of a slow start after only a year later, Moody’s downgraded its financial outlook to negative, saying the casino fell short of projected revenues by about $100 million, but management of the casino had a reasonable explanation about their financial shortcoming.
Del Lago claimed they were subjected to “blatantly unfair competitive disadvantage” from the Seneca Niagara casino in Niagara Falls, as they stopped making tax payments to local and state governments in 2017 and redirected these resources towards promotions and other types of incentives for the Rochester area, creating an unfair situation that forced del Lago to ask the state for a bailout, a claim the state rejected.
Currently, there is a significant disbalance of the rate of tax paid by del Lago casino and their closest competitor, the Oneida Nation in Central New York who pay 25% of its slot machine revenue to the state, while del Lago accounts for 37% of slot machine and 10% of its sports wagering and table games revenues, an issue del Lago CEO Brent Stevens is hoping to be addressed in the upcoming legislative session.
Regarding legislation, there is another topic that is of significant interest for the casino industry in general, the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee chair State Sen. Joseph Addabbo bill S17 that seeks to legalize mobile sports betting and if passed would create an additional stream of revenue for the industry.