Del Lago Casino Revenue Eliminates Tyre Property Taxes

Posted on: October 26, 2023, 11:08h. 

Last updated on: October 26, 2023, 11:54h.

Gaming revenue from del Lago Resort & Casino in upstate New York will cover local property taxes in Tyre.

del Lago Tyre New York casino
New York State Route 89 is seen running southbound to Tyre. Local residents in the upstate New York town won’t receive a property bill this year, as gaming taxes from the nearby del Lago Resort & Casino will cover those costs. (Image: Shutterstock)

Del Lago opened in 2017 at a cost of $440 million. The property is owned and operated by Churchill Downs, Inc., which it acquired through its nearly $2.5 billion takeover of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment last year.

Del Lago has a Waterloo address but is located within the Town of Tyre in Seneca County.

Of the four upstate New York commercial casinos, del Lago is nearest to the Seneca Nation’s gaming zone. The Senecas hold the exclusive rights to Las Vegas-style slot machines and table games west of State Route 14. The state highway runs along Seneca Lake, one of 11 narrow, north-south lakes that make up the Finger Lakes.

Del Lago is less than 10 miles east of State Route 14 along Interstate 90. The 100,000-square-foot casino offers 1,700 slots, 66 tables, and a TwinSpires Sportsbook. The resort’s amenities include a 205-room hotel, several restaurants and bars, a spa, a shopping mall, and a 2,400-seat concert venue.

Local Share

New York voters legalized commercial gaming in 2013 through a statewide ballot referendum that amended the state’s constitution to allow Las Vegas-style casinos.

The gaming expansion package created up to seven licenses, with four reserved for the upstate region. The upstate licenses were also provided with a 10-year immunity from downstate competition.

Though del Lago and the three other upstate commercial casinos, Resorts World Catskills, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, and Tioga Downs Casino Resort, have failed to meet their preopening revenue projections, the gaming establishments have still provided major benefits for the local communities where they’re located.

Along with absorbing incremental costs for municipal services and covering expenses local municipalities encounter directly related to the casino’s operation, Del Lago’s host agreement allocates about 1.7% of its gross gaming revenue to Tyre. Seneca County also receives 1.7% of the monthly casino win.

During the 2022-23 fiscal year that ended March 2023, del Lago directed more than $2.11 million to Tyre. That’s up about $100K from the previous year and $1.2 million more than the pandemic-stricken 2020-21 fiscal campaign.

The Tyre Town Board recently voted to use its casino tax benefit to cover property taxes. The board passed a resolution that directs a $2.4 million payment to the Tyre Tax Collector.

“This approach will effectively result in no town tax for property owners in the upcoming fiscal year,” said Tyre Board Supervisor Elizabeth Partee.

Difficult Times

In previous years, Tyre has used its casino taxes to cover infrastructure and road improvement expenses. But with inflation keeping the cost of living high, Tyre officials opted to go a different route for the upcoming 12 months.

We believe these actions represent a genuine commitment to our residents and represent a tangible step toward improving their financial well-being,” Partee said.

“Our Town Board is acutely aware of our fiduciary responsibility to the town’s residents and property taxpayers. To this end, we recently undertook the diligent development and acceptance of a comprehensive multi-year capital plan and a multi-year financial plan, both thoughtfully crafted to better serve our community,” Partee added.