The Monticello Raceway in New York has shut down its electronic gaming racino. The move comes as the venue’s parent company, Empire Resorts, wants to put all its efforts into the Resorts World Catskills (RWC), which opened about a year ago. The raceway at Monticello will remain open—at least for now.
Empire doesn’t anticipate having to close the entire venue, but it certainly wouldn’t be the first time a company has changed its mind. According to Empire CEO Ryan Eller, “We’re eager to explore various options to preserve the Monticello Raceway operations, and relocating the raceway video-gaming machines to Orange County would definitely go a long way to that goal.”
The video lottery terminal (VLT) business at Monticello has fallen substantially, while Resorts World continues to see an increase in all of its businesses. Eller adds, “There is not enough business that remains at that VLT facility to justify the cost of operating it.”
Up to 160 employees are affected by the closure, but Empire has said that it will help as many as possible find positions at RWC. Fortunately, the two venues are only about 10 minutes apart.
New York Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther is concerned for the future of the location. She asserts, “Right now we are going over some plans to make sure that as we wrote in the constitutional amendment that the racino was supposed to support the purses and as we go forward. I am sorry that it happened and hopefully that building will be used for something positive in the community.”
“Right now we are going over some plans to make sure that as we wrote in the constitutional amendment that the racino was supposed to support the purses and as we go forward,” Gunther said, “I am sorry that it happened and hopefully that building will be used for something positive in the community.”
RWC offers 150 gaming tables, 2,150 slot machines and ten bars and restaurants. In addition, it offers 332 hotel rooms, eight garden suits, seven two-story villas and 12 luxury penthouse suites in its 18-story hotel tower and has just completed construction on new upper-level suites. Its high-profile setting and large footprint has proven to be overwhelming to the comparatively small operations of Monticello, and if the latter stays open more than two more years, it will be a miracle.