By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Revenues by New York gambling entities have nearly doubled since 2000, according to a new report out today.
Total gambling revenues, including lottery games and gambling at racetracks and Indian casinos, went from $2.7 billion in 2000 to $5.3 billion in 2011, according to Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac, an annual, in-depth study of the nation’s gambling industry.
Unlike Nevada, home to some of the nation’s oldest commercial casinos, New York’s gambling revenues have been steadily rising over the past decade, the study shows. Nevada’s gambling revenues totaled $9.8 billion in 2000, rose over the next several years and in 2011 stood again at $9.8 billion.
Broken out, New York’s Indian gambling revenues totaled $921 million in 2011, down from a high of $1 billion in 2007 but up from $208 million in 2000, according to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report. The Seneca Nation of Indians runs three casinos in Western New York.
California saw at total of $9.9 billion in gambling revenues; $3.3 billion of that were from Indian-owned casinos.
In neighboring Ontario, gambling revenues went from $3.1 billion in 2000 to $5.1 billion in 2011, the most recent year for which numbers were available. In Pennsylvania, the numbers went from $1.2 billion in 2000 to $4.4 billion in 2011.
The New York numbers have only soared since 2011. The report does not include a full year’s worth of revenues at the highly lucrative Aqueduct casino in Queens, which opened in the fall of 2011; just in tax revenues alone for the state government, that facility has generated $900 million, its operators recently reported.
New York’s gambling industry is bucking a national trend in which gambling revenues have been soft since 2007. In all in 2011, gambling generated $116.4 billion in revenues. The nation’s casinos are home to 993,000 gambling machines, including 760,000 slots, the study found. The study does not break out revenues by individual gambling facility in New York.
On Tuesday, New York voters will decide if a plan to build up to seven non-Indian casinos gets approved.