SARATOGA SPRINGS – With the opening of a competitor in Schenectady, revenues were down slightly at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Yet, at least one industry expert thinks that does not indicate a long-term trend.
According to the New York State Gaming Commission, the “net win” at Saratoga Casino Hotel was $3.1 million on February 4.
On February 18, ten days after the grand opening of Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, commission records show that Saratoga Casino Hotel’s net win had dipped by about $700,000 to $2.4 million. The total amount of money spent in Saratoga that same week had surpassed $38 million, while the total paid out to gamers went above $35 million.
The net win figure is considered by gaming industry officials as the most important measure of activity for any facility. It covers each facility’s total weekly earnings through the six days prior to a given date.
The records show that one of the highest net wins for the Saratoga Casino Hotel over the past year, $3.9 million, was reported in August. The casino’s weekly earnings have not dropped below $2 million since 2010.
In its first week of operation, the Schenectady gaming facility reported a net win of more than $3 million, the records show.
Amy Brannigan, director of marketing for Saratoga Casino Hotel, did not respond to a request for comment on those figures.
Lee Park, a spokesman for the state gaming commission, said he would “not recommend taking the first couple of weeks” of operation at the Rivers Casino and Resort as indicative of any type of trend. Park said officials at Saratoga Casino Hotel were well aware of the potential for an economic impact from new gaming opportunities in Schenectady, going so far as to complete “a huge expansion over the past year” in preparation.
Plus, Park said, state officials who selected the Schenectady location had fully considered its potential impact on gaming in Saratoga Springs, and determined that the industry in both areas could flourish.