Rivers Casino celebrates first year of operation


Opening Rivers Casino and Resort was no piece of cake, but the team at the Schenectady gaming spot says the first year was worth the work.

"We're proud of the fact that Rush Street company invested over $300 million to build Rivers Casino and the Landing Hotel."

CEO Greg Carlin spoke employees inside Rivers on Thursday, to celebrate its one-year anniversary.

"I want to thank all of our team members who are here for making Rivers Casino the best casino in the state of New York,” Carlin said.

Since its opening, Rivers management says it's created more than 1,000 jobs and seen $26 million in jackpots, $53 million in new tax revenue and 350 events to date.

"We're very pleased with the performance that has happened at the site."

Over the phone, Mayor Gary McCarthy told us the casino has improved completion of city projects, like reconstruction of Erie Blvd., and brought tourists into the city.

"Rivers has come in there and put up a casino they've hired a thousand people, so we're very excited about it and very pleased and we look forward to working more with them in the future," McCarthy said.

But the mayor does say the casino fell slightly short on how much money it projected the city would receive - and CEO Carlin admits it's no secret that gaming in upstate New York has underperformed projections.

"Were a new business, first year, a lot of businesses don't meet their projections the first year, and the market itself may be a little smaller than we thought, but we'll see," Carlin said.

On this anniversary, Rivers faces new potential competition with the Resorts World Casino opening a couple hours away in Monticello. Carlin says competition is not a major concern.

"Certainly that'll have a small impact on our business as will a casino opening in Massachusetts later in the year, but we'll have to see how that all plays out."

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