It’s officially game on in Schenectady.
Rivers Casino & Resort opened just before noon on Wednesday on the Mohawk Harbor site to much fanfare, as thousands of guests poured into the facility for the first time.
“Today is just all good news,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a pre-opening ceremony. “It really is a dream come true.”
Hundreds of people lined up hours in advance to be among the first to experience the $330 million facility. Once customers stepped foot on the red carpet rolled onto the 50,000-square-foot gaming floor, they were greeted by a showgirl wearing a giant, red, feathery headdress who wished them good luck.
By about 1:30 p.m., each of the 67 table games and 15 poker tables—and nearly all of the 1,150 slot machines—were occupied. A line snaked through one end of the gaming floor as customers signed up for rewards cards, while dozens waited to order food at the casino’s marketplace.
The opening came with its share of hiccups, as traffic backed up periodically along Erie Boulevard and in the roundabout near the facility’s entrance. For the most part, though, it was a day of celebration, as leaders touted the casino as a sign of what’s to come in Schenectady.
From the time it was proposed, Rivers was pitched as an economic boon to the region. On its opening day, leaders hammered that message home once again.
“It’s not just that we have this beautiful Rivers Casino,” Cuomo said to a crowd of state and local leaders. “You now start to see other developments that are also coming to reality, coming to fruition. And what was that negative energy and negative synergy is now a positive energy and positive synergy.”
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Samuels, Brett. “Rivers Casino Opening Brings Optimism, Large Crowds.” The Daily Gazette. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <https://dailygazette.com/article/2017/02/08/rivers-casino-opening-brings-optimism-large-crowds>.