evenue at the commercial casinos in the state of New York was down 60% from 2019 to 2020, as a result of the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The drop-off was expected, the Daily Gazette reports, as non-Indian casinos were closed for nearly six months after the pandemic hit, or about 50% of the year, and operated at reduced capacity for more than three months, or about 30% of the year.
Schenectady’s Rivers Casino & Resort suffered the smallest impact among the four state-regulated casinos, dropping 55% to $76.1 million in gross gaming revenue for 2020. On this, it paid $26.4 million in gaming tax, also a 55% drop.
Very strong performance in January and February 2020 — the only part of the year not affected by COVID — slightly lessened the impact of the next 10 months. Gross gaming revenue was 28% higher in January and February 2020 than in 2019.
For the year, Rivers was second-highest in gaming revenue among the four casinos and highest in taxes paid.
Saratoga Casino Hotel, meanwhile, had a net win of $50.4 million in 2020 and paid $24.4 million in taxes on it. That’s a 60% drop in net win from 2019.
Del Lago Resort and Casino in the Finger Lakes region reported $61.2 million in 2020 gross gaming revenue, down 61%.
Resorts World Catskills reported $87 million in revenue, down 58%.
Tioga Downs Casino in the Southern Tier reported $35.5 million in revenue, down 57%.
As a whole, Saratoga and New York’s eight other video gaming locations saw revenue drop 62% year over year.
As the crow flies, the closest competing facility to Rivers and Saratoga is MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. It reported $138 million in 2020 revenue, a 52% drop from 2019. MGM was closed for three whole months and part of two others, so was open a bit longer than the New York casinos.
New York casinos face a number of other restrictions, including reduced operating hours to allow for deep cleaning; reduced maximum capacity, to limit crowd size; and reduced number of machines or seats, so as to increase distance between gamblers.
The New York State Gaming Commission, based on Broadway in Schenectady, maintains a database of casino financial information online.