New York and Atlantic City Casinos Brace for Increased Competition

With profits continuing to drop in Atlantic City, another blow will come in 2016 in the form of three New York casinos. New Jersey may look to expand gaming beyond Atlantic City in hopes of cushioning the blow. Local New York casinos are also looking for ways to counteract the eventual stiff competition.

Atlantic City is preparing itself for the bad news about revenue dipping a projected 8 percent to .6 billion in 2014, and the forecast of dropping yet another 6 percent to .5 billion in 2015. The region’s 12 casinos dwindled down to just eight in 2014, which they hope will help stabilize revenue. Speculation is swirling around New Jersey expanding their gaming beyond Atlantic City, in hopes of plugging the leak of gamblers crossing over to Pennsylvania and New York casinos.

With New York, on the other hand, the jury is still out as to how the three massive casino resorts will impact existing racinos in the state. Saratoga Springs and Saratoga Casino and Raceway had high hopes of opening two separate casino resorts, but lost out on those bids, one of which was slated to be in partnership with Churchill Downs.

Even while losing out on the bids, the Saratoga Springs racino will be moving forward with a $30 million expansion which will feature a hotel. The racino, a mere 25 miles from Schenectady’s Rivers Casino, set to open in 2016, was in desperate need of a counter attack to retain revenue in the coming years. Even though the racino expects the nearby facility to negatively impact video gambling revenue, spokeswoman Rita Cox is confident racing will remain strong.

“Racing in Saratoga stands alone. It is one of the tourist attractions that has made Saratoga basically the best, most well known destination in the northeast and beyond. We don’t expect there to be an impact on racing at all,” she said. “For Saratoga, the entertainment at our racetrack is as much about the sport as it is about the gambling,” said New York Racing Association Board Member Charles Wait.

Long time racing journalist Mike Kane spoke with more concern about Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack, saying, “If Finger Lakes Racecourse is adversely affected by that casino by what we call the western part of the state, that could lower the purses, affect the breeding business, and make those horses less attractive.” Needless to say, 2015 is set to be an interesting year as local casinos plan to fight the looming massive casinos.