Resorts World Catskills moves up launch date; del Lago downgrade


resorts-world-catskills-casinoNew York state’s newest casino Resorts World Catskills is moving up its launch date to coincide with the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration.

On Thursday, Montreign Operating Co LLC, a subsidiary of Empire Resorts Inc, which is itself controlled by Malaysian conglomerate Genting, announced it was moving up the grand opening of Resorts World Catskills from March 1 to February 8 (pending regulatory approval).

The casino has decided it wants to time its opening with the arrival of the Chinese Year of the Dog, which officially gets underway on February 16. The Catskills venue is located 90 miles north of New York City, and the venue evidently hopes to lure many of the Big Apple’s Chinese ex-pat community as well as any high-rolling international guests who may land at JFK.

The property’s Lunar New Year plans include a traditional dragon dance and what Resorts World Catskills CEO Ryan Eller called “red envelope surprises,’ while the 100k-square-foot casino floor will devote at least 30% of its space to Asian-centric table games.

If you still had doubts as to what type of clientele the casino hopes to attract, the casino also announced that is official address would be 888 Resorts World Drive. The company noted that, in certain cultures (ahem), three eights symbolize good fortune and prosperity, and the new address is intended to “signify the resort’s anticipated good luck of its future patrons.”

Resorts World Catskills will be the fourth commercial casino launched since New York approved new non-tribal casinos in 2015. So far, these properties have performed far below their original revenue projections, leading to concerns of market saturation.

Making matters worse, the Oneida Nation plans to open its third gaming venue on March 1, which will bring the state’s total complement of casinos and racinos to 19. The Oneida’s new 65k-square-foot Point Place Casino near Syracuse will feature 500 slots and 20 gaming tables, in addition to restaurant and bar options.

Last week, Moody’s Investors Service cut the outlook of the new del Lago Resort Casino in Finger Lakes to ‘negative,’ based on the $100m shortfall in the venue’s projected first-year revenue.

While Moody’s said it was confident that del Lago could continue to pay the interest on its bank loans for a while longer, “without a substantial improvement in revenue, del Lago will not be able to achieve a level of performance that can support its existing debt capital structure.”