Aqueduct Racino Pays Out Most Winnings in NY State
Daniel Edward Rosen July 9, 2012, 12:30 p.m.
Aqueduct Resorts World, the Queens racino owned by Genting Malaysia, has been New York State’s biggest tax-revenue producer while also doling out the most winnings among the nine racinos in the state, The NY Post reports.
The racino paid out $3 billion to the users of its video lottery terminals (VLTs) of the $3.178 billion in wagers it collected between April through the middle of June, according to financial reports filed with the state Lottery Division.
Aqueduct Resorts World pocketed the leftover $178 million, with nearly 60 percent of that revenue going back to the state.
Other racinos in the state paled in comparison, returning nearly 92 percent of its earnings to gamblers. Yonkers Raceway’s Empire City Casino recorded $1.827 billion in bets between the same time period, paying out $1.676 billion in winnings and collecting $150 million for the racino.
Last month, The Commercial Observer broke down the possibility of casino gambling being legalized in the Empire State. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank chairman Jeffrey Gural, who owns racinos at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, stressed the importance of location of a racino (and, potentially, a casino) in New York.
“One problem I have is one racino is five miles away from an Indian casino that has table games—that was a terrible decision,” Mr. Gural said at the time. “My other racino is in Tioga County in a town of 1,000 people. Obviously, if you have a great location like Aqueduct and Yonkers, you’d make a lot of money. But the bulk of the money is going into state taxes.”
Gaming operators like MGM and Wynn Resorts have been quietly lobbying local politicians in anticipation of casino gaming be legalized. While casinos are still a few years away from being approved by NY State and its voters, that has not prevented some from pursuing a possible location near or in New York City –should Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration position 1 of the 7 casino licenses in the city.
Aqueduct Resorts World’s returns are perhaps an assuring sign that the closer a gaming operator is to the city, the higher the returns (for both the operator and the state).