By The Hudson Valley Press
KIAMESHA LAKE – Empire Resorts, the parent company of Resorts World Catskills, lost $128.7 million in 2018, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday. That is a more than 199 percent variance in the loss incurred by the casino in 2017. That year, it declared a $46.3 million loss.
The SEC report said gaming revenues increased by $96 million, or 158.6 percent, for the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 as compared to the same period in 2017, from $60.5 million to $156.5 million. The increase in gaming revenues was primarily due to revenues generated by the casino, which generated $178.2 million in gross gaming revenues in fiscal 2018.
Monticello Casino and Raceway generated $32.5 million in gross gaming revenues compared to $60.5 million for the previous year. That loss was as a result of the opening of the nearby Casino World Catskills, owned by the same company.
Empire Resorts is closing the electronic gaming operations at Monticello Raceway this spring because of the losses.
The SEC filing stated gaming expenses increased $81.7 million, or 183.7 percent, for fiscal 2018, as compared to 2017, from $44.5 million to $126.2 million. “The increase in gaming expenses was primarily due to expenses generated by the casino, which includes gaming taxes and payroll expenses, partially offset by an increase in the commission rate associated with operations at MCR. The company’s commission rte was increased due to the (New York State Gaming Commission) regulations that allow for a higher commission that is commensurate with the blended tax rate by the casino.”
Racing revenues at Monticello Raceway decreased by approximately $500,000, or 8.3 percent, in 2018, as compared to 2017, from $5.8 million to $5.3 million. The SEC filing said the decrease in revenues “is primarily due to a decrease in revenues from regional OTBs for racing as compared to the fiscal 2017 period.
Racing expenses increased $2.8 million, or 53.9 percent, for the fiscal 2018 period as compared to 2017, from $5.2 million to $8 million. “The increase in racing expenses of $2.8 million is primarily due to larger purse contributions and higher fees required by regulation to be paid by the company as a result of the casino opening.”