New York State Assembly member Gary Pretlow has sought a review of three new upstate casinos for their failure to meet revenue projections by state auditors.
Pretlow felt that the new casinos in Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Albany may need seek the help of the state in improving their bottom lines. Pretlow has written to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli asking for state auditors to conduct an analysis into the issues that are hampering the three casinos from generating higher revenues.
In his letter Pretlow said
It is critically important that we have reliable and realistic long-term revenue projections — so we can prevent the recent gaming expansion from creating an arms race for more and more tax subsidies
New York approved three casino licenses as the state wanted to bring in a certain amount of revenue in the form of gaming taxes from the three newly licensed casinos. Their expectations were based on the estimates provided by gaming analysts but so far revenues from the three casinos have missed these projections.
del Lago Resort & Casino
A review in September by the Albany Bureau found that the three casinos are well short of $220 million of their total revenue which they projected when they won their gaming license bids in 2014. Citing recent media reports in his letter, Pretlow urged DiNapoli to determine how much the three casinos can bring in so that the state budget estimates are accurate.
However the three casinos have played down their sluggish start and said that it takes years to build a regular clientele and be successful. The three casino owners have invested millions of dollars and hired hundreds of employees and want the state government to be patient as it is still too early to accurate judge their performance.
Jeff Babinksi, the general manager of del Lago Resort & Casino said that they had opened their doors to the public only in February and in the past few months have seen a lot of success in different areas. Since the time the casinos opened, they have boosted the overall gambling revenue of the state by about $200 million as pointed out by state Gaming Commission.
This revenue largely goes to fund schools in New York, Lee Park who is the commission’s spokesman said that the best metric to gauge the viability of the new casinos should not be solely based on the comparisons between the casino snapshot projections from 2014 and millions of dollars generated in the last 10 months in private revenue. Park says that that revenue projections of the casinos in their third year will be a better metric to gauge their performance.