Renderings released of proposed Schenectady casino

07-11-2014

Rivers_Casino__Resort_at_Mohawk_Harbor

SCHENECTADY — Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming unveiled on Friday what its casino and resort project would look like off Erie Boulevard in Schenectady.

Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor features a casino, hotel and other amenities next to the Mohawk River. The design has a modern look with windows overlooking the river.

The $300 million Schenectady casino proposal includes a 50,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,150 slot machines, 66 table games and an attached 150-room hotel.

Rush Street Gaming of Chicago would operate the casino. The company currently runs several casinos including the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, IL and another Rivers Casino is Pittsburgh, PA.

Rush estimates the casino will annually generate $223 million in gaming revenue, $82 million in gaming taxes and fees and $50 million in payroll, benefits and tips. The development is expected to attract 2.8 million new visitors each year and create 1,200 permanent jobs.

The casino will sit on a portion of the former Alco site, now called Mohawk Harbor, where Galesi Group also plans another $150 million redevelopment project with a second 124-room hotel, apartments, condominiums, restaurants and retail.

If awarded a casino license, the group anticipates that the casino will be up and running within 24 months. The entire Mohawk Harbor development is projected to take between three and five years.

In its executive summary included in the casino application submitted to the state Gaming Commission on June 30, Galesi and Rush point to Schenectady as a distressed area and in need of an economic boost.

The summary states, “The per capita income for the city of Schenectady is $19,420 and over 25,000 Schenectady County residents received some sort of aid from the county’s Public Assistance Programs in March 2014. It is a distressed area — the jobs alone will be transformative and will recast the future of this historic, iconic upstate New York area.”

The Gaming Commission’s Facility Location Board will choose sites for a casino by the fall. Four casino licenses will be awarded in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and Southern Tier.

Locations in Amsterdam, Cobleskill, East Greenbush and Rensselaer are also being proposed for a casino. All submitted their applications to the Gaming Commission and are also in the competition.