Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady was awarded a casino license by the New York Gaming Facility Location Board on December 17, 2014.
It was built adjacent to Mohawk Harbor at a cost of $330 million. This was part of a $480 million development of the former Alco site.
Rivers Casino officially opened February 8, 2017.
It appears that some of the financial struggles can be traced back to a lack of customer satisfaction, as some visitors have expressed their concerns with dining options, inadequate staffing and an inability to get a seat at a variety of different games. Vice President of Marketing, Danny Brockford, is happy to be working in a community that is so willing to provide feedback and hopes through the utilization of surveillance footage that the casino will be able to address legitimate concerns.
Brockford went on to explain the crowd that has turned out since the New York casino’s opening has been both consistent and loyal. The poker room is often crowded and there is a frequent need for a waitlist for players looking to get a spot, which could be the reason for visitors ‘complaints about finding a seat at certain tables. In the near future gaming officials will look to open access to high-demand table games to help alleviate crowd pressure during peak activity. The Rivers Casino also hopes to increase staff through an ongoing dealer school to bring in talented dealers who can handle larger crowds more efficiently. Although the poker room is consistently crowded, it is reported that it only brings in 4.7 percent of gross gaming revenues in the first five weeks.
In addition to more staff the casino is looking into options to bring in more gaming tables, and not just for poker. Customers have brought up the fact that they are often left waiting for other table games like blackjack, craps and roulette. The biggest issues that players have faced in regards to waiting time have been at the tables for let it ride and three-card poker.
Rivers Casino also hopes to bring more business is through scheduling poker tournaments, which would need to be approved by the state Gaming Commission. The casino has targeted April for the scheduled tournament to take place but no date has been revealed at this point. The tournament will take place during off-hours, to avoid interfering with the regular crowd.
The Final Touches to Rivers Casino
To address the issues customers had with the dining area; the marketplace on the gaming floor has focused on improving service as a whole. Other adjustments have been made at Van Slyck’s were customers can now dance to live music acts on a makeshift dance floor. Streamlining the menu to focus on customers’ favorites has also given customers a better experience. Another casino spokesperson expressed their pleasure in the performance of the casino thus far and went on to say that the casino is constantly trying to adapt to the customers needs. Over the summer the hotel will be opening, which will certainly bring in more people in hopes to help financially. As the weather continues to warm up the casino will also begin a project that will open a patio space that will overlook the Mohawk River.
160,000-square-foot casino and resort
51,000-square-foot gaming floor
Must be 21 years old
1,150 slot machines
High Limits slots area
67 Table Games
Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and specialty games
High Limit games
Food service 24/7
Sports book – 5,000-square-foot lounge
Flipt – burgers and sandwiches
Johnny’s To Go – Italian
Mian – Asian
Mallozzi Family Restaurant
Villa Italia – pastries and coffee
Van Slyck’s – Bar, entertainment lounge