Saratoga Casino Decides To Expand Due To Competition
The Saratoga Casino and Raceway in New York is gearing up for competition from the upcoming project Rivers Casino & Resort which is located in Schenectady and not very far from its premises. The Saratoga Casino is launching a $40 million expansion program which could also include a re-branding exercise.
According to a recent announcement, the Saragota casino will undertake an extensive overhaul, adding a new hotel with 117 rooms, a ballroom and an indoor pool and a number of other new amenities. The casino is also introducing the famous national steakhouse Morton’s and is expecting to draw thousands of patrons through its non-gaming offerings. The casino currently features 1,700 video lottery terminals which include electronic poker and blackjack, in addition to harness racing. These terminals have video screens that act as a substitute for live dealers since the racino is not allowed to have live dealers.
With this extension the casino hopes to counter the competition it is expecting from Rivers Casino & Resort which is likely to launch in early 2017. The Saragota casino is located just 25 miles away from the $330-million Rivers Casino & Resort which will feature a full-fledged casino with gaming floor space to house 1,150 slot machines , 63 gaming tables and live dealers. The casino will also have a hotel, a ballroom and a steakhouse.
Rita Cox, a spokeswoman for Saratoga Casino and Raceway said that the casino was looking to become a completely new brand and might go so far as to introduce a new name. Cox stated that the casino will look to provide a complete entertainment experience to its visitors.
This is not the first time that the racino has renamed and reinvented itself. In 2004, it changed its name from Saratoga Equine Sports Center to Saratoga Gaming and Raceway after it introduced video lottery terminals to the racetrack that had earlier featured only harness racing. Subsequently, it changed its name in 2011 becoming Saratoga Casino and Raceway after a revision in state rules allowed racinos to label themselves as casinos. However the casino has not released any information regarding its plans to re-brand itself.
The new facilities announced as a part of its expansion plan reveal a significant shift in Saratoga’s business model. The new Schenectady casino is expected to reduce Saratoga’s gambling revenue by almost 40 percent, prompting the re-design. The current investment of $40 million is much higher than what Saratoga spent in its earlier renovations efforts in 2004 and 2007. The new facilities are expected to open by June-end or July of this year.
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