Del Lago Casino Delivers Host Town $1M Less Than Expected, Property Taxes Increase

Posted on: November 19, 2020, 08:14h. 

Last updated on: November 19, 2020, 09:57h.

Del Lago Resort & Casino in upstate New York will receive roughly $1 million fewer dollars from gaming this year. Local residents will be on the hook to make up the difference.

del Lago casino New York coronavirus
Furloughed workers gather outside del Lago Resort & Casino in protest of the state’s shutdown orders in August. (Image: Finger Lakes News Radio)

Tyre, N.Y., is the host municipality for the $440 million casino resort that opened in 2017. Under the gaming property’s licensing agreement with the state, Tyre and Seneca County equally split a 10 percent host county and municipality tax on the casino’s gross gaming revenue (GGR).

With del Lago and the three other upstate commercial casinos sitting idle for nearly six months this year because of COVID-19, Tyre officials say they’re $1 million short in tax revenue.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, del Lago had faced a mandatory closure from mid-March until the governor allowed the casino to reopen at 25 percent capacity on September 9. During this closure period, the Town of Tyre did not receive any of its allotted Gaming Tax Revenue from New York State, a release from the town explained.

This loss of revenue is estimated to exceed one million dollars, significantly affecting the 2020 budget,” the statement continued. As a result, 2021 property taxes are increasing from $1.63 per $1,000 of assessed property value, to $5.66 per $1,000.

The town points out that the 2021 tax is still considerably lower than before del Lago came to town. In 2016, the property tax was $9.84 per $1,000. Casino tax revenues resulted in Tyre being able to lower the property tax rate on homeowners.

New Restrictions for New York Casinos

Tyre is not including any casino revenue in its 2021 budget. Local officials say the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 makes it unreasonable to do so.

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) placed new restrictions on the four upstate commercial casinos.

Del Lago, Tioga Downs, Resorts World Catskills, and Rivers Casino Schenectady must suspend their gaming operations nightly at 10 pm. The slots, table games, and sportsbooks can resume business at 5 am.

Cuomo lashed out at reporters yesterday when asked about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) decision to close public schools. Seemingly unaware of the mayor’s announcement, Cuomo answered, “What are you talking about? You’re confused. Read the law and you won’t be confused.”

After another reporter said many are indeed confused, and millions of parents need to know if their kids are going to school tomorrow, Cuomo again became enraged.

“I don’t really care what you think,” Cuomo stated.

Del Lago Layoffs

Cuomo’s latest restrictions on casinos have led to del Lago announcing the furloughs of 50 employees.

Due to our limited operations schedule, we have made the difficult decision to furlough 50 employees,” revealed Lance Young, executive vice president and general manager of del Lago.

Del Lago is owned and operated by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, a gaming and hospitality company headquartered in Los Angeles. In addition to del Lago, the group has an interest in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa, and Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent, Virginia.

Peninsula also previously owned DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana. It permanently closed the riverboat in May.