One year after del Lago, Finger Lakes Gaming reports significant decline
FARMINGTON -- del Lago Resort and Casino has officially been open for one year. Even though it made $90 million less than expected, the region's newest casino complex appears to be drawing big revenue away from Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington.
13WHAM caught up with Ed Smith and his wife from East Rochester across the street as they ate dinner before heading into the casino complex.
"I think the people who came here, a lot of them still come here," Ed Smith.
In a statement to 13WHAM News, Steve Martin, Regional Director of Marketing for Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track wrote:
"Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has faced stiff competition for the regional gaming dollar in 2017 in an increasingly competitive Upstate New York gaming market. Most recently, our year-over-year declines are over 20% and we expect additional challenges as our newest competitors fully utilize their additional amenities, fine tune their operations and fully engage their marketing. However, we are proud to continue to remain a centerpiece of jobs and economic activity in Ontario County, and our focus remains on providing and enhancing what our guests tell us is the most comfortable and convenient gaming and entertainment experience in the region."
Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack is the largest employer in Ontario County.
"When you start to get all these casinos so tight together, it's going to be a crash sooner or later in my opinion," said casino patron T. Dee.
Farmington Town Supervisor Peter Ingalsbe remains optimistic.
"We've received $1.74 million in the last two years," Ingalsbe said.
It's money that has paid for upgrades to the Farmington Town Hall building and highway garage. The money comes directly from casino gaming taxes.
"We did track the first six months with predictions as bad as 40%," Ingalsbe said, referring to current revenue figures at the Finger Lakes Casino and Race Track. "They are doing more advertising, Facebook, radio and TV."
Ingalsbe says he hopes the adjustments will keep it here for a long time to come. Patrons express the same.
"It's a neighborhood place," Dee said. "It's always been good."
Ingalsbe adds that taxpayers will not have to worry about changes in their tax bills. He says Farmington and Ontario County have enough reserve funding to offset any decline.