Picente: U District casino has advantage over other Upstate casinos

Despite recent shortfalls in revenue for various Vegas-style casino across Upstate New York, a newly proposed casino in Utica will not share the same fate, according Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr.

Posted: Nov 30, 2017 7:23 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2017 7:26 PM

UTICA, NY-- Despite recent shortfalls in revenue for various Vegas-style casino across Upstate New York, a newly proposed casino in Utica will not share the same fate, according Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr.

Three recently opened casinos -- del Lago in Seneca County, Rivers in Schenectady and Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier -- all appear to be falling about $220 million short of their estimates for first-year gaming revenue, according the New York Gaming Commission.

With plans to build a new casino in downtown Utica it has raised concerns about the potential for less revenue from the Utica Common Casino. The new casino is a part of the arts, sports and entertainment area, known as the U-District.

"We're still in the early stages of it," said Picente. "We have... commissioned a marketing study to try to see the overall effect of the entire U- District, so we will put those plans in sharper focus so we can garner some state funding and other resources. When we get some of that data back will have a better idea of what what a Utica casino would be able to generate."

The plans for the U-District includes a new casino, a beer museum an interactive playground and an ice skating rink. The second plan would add a new sports complex center, called the Nexus Center, which would have three ice rinks an athletic center and a fitness center.

"We have not seen an impact to our revenue-sharing since the new casinos opened," he said. "The initial thought was that when the other casinos went online in particular Schenectady and Tyre in Seneca County, that it would have an impact, a drastic impact or some kind of impact on Turning Stone's revenue as far as gaming and as far as what we collect and it really hasn't. They have built a model of success, and the number show it. Our revenue it's not not seen any kind of impact from those new ones."

Picente said the marketing study should be comlete by early 2018.

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