Rivers Schenectady Bucks Trend and Sees Revenue Growth, According to NY May Casino Numbers

Of the four non-tribal casinos in New York, only Rivers Schenectady showed a revenue increase year-over-year in May. The other casinos continue to be flat, as sports betting dominates the gaming market in the state.

Combined, the four commercial casinos reported $55.3 million in gaming revenue in May 2023, a 3.4% decrease from the same month in 2022. But, Rivers Schenectady showed a 9% increase in net revenue, to $13.0 million, compared to $11.9 million a year ago in May.

Meanwhile, sports betting operators reported $207 million in winnings in May, which represents the figure both from in-person retail sales at casino-hosted sportsbooks, and New York online sports betting.

Since it launched online sportsbooks in Jan. of 2022, New York has emerged as the behemoth and top sports betting market in the country, but the state’s casino gaming has slowed. However, it still produces tax revenue, and as Rivers Schenectady shows, there is an opportunity to ride the coattails of the sports betting frenzy.

Sports betting total handle passes $1 billion mark again

The $55 million in revenue from Rivers Schenectady, del Lago Resort & Casino, Resorts World Catskills, and Tioga Downs comes from slots, table games, poker, and retail sports betting at the venues. By comparison, for a ninth consecutive month, New York sportsbooks accepted more than $1 billion in wagers in May. Last May, New York sports betting operators handled $1.2 billion in bets, this year it grew to $1.3 billion, which is also easily the highest figure of any state.

Because New York has the highest tax rate on sports betting revenue (51% for online operators), the state received $91.3 million in May, which includes the totals from retail sports betting. That tax revenue figure is a 23% increase from May of 2022, because sportsbooks won a higher rate last month compared to the previous year.

The state has nine online sportsbooks, compared to the four retail sportsbooks that are in commercial casinos. The legislature is considering proposals to allow a casino in New York City, but plans are not finalized yet.

Fiscal year 2023-24 is off to a great start for New York: the New York State Gaming Commission reports $404.6 million in gross gaming so far in two months, which is a whopping 17.9% increase from last fiscal period. Sports betting is fueling that growth, as casino play (table games, slots, poker) is down by 5.1% this fiscal year through two months, according to data from the state.

Given the $176 million the state has gathered from sports and casino gaming revenue in the first two months of this current fiscal year, it’s possible New York could top $1 billion in tax revenue for FY 2023-24, which would set a record.

Of the money collected in tax revenue from gaming in April and May of 2023, $148 million of it has been allocated to the state’s education fund. Since New York launched sports betting in Jan. 2022, Albany has received $1.055 billion in tax revenue for the educational programs of the state.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a writer for NY Sports Day. He has also written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.

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